Half-a-billion pound contract awarded to transform county A-road

Highways England awarded a half-a-billion pound contract to transform the A428

Highways England awarded a half-a-billion pound contract to transform the A428 road between Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge. - Credit: Highways England 

Highways England has awarded a half-a-billion pound contract to transform an A-road between Cambridge, Bedford and Milton Keynes. 

The £507million contract, delivered by Skanska, will see the company design and build the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements scheme. 

The scheme will see a new 10-mile dual carriageway built, linking the A1 Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire to the A428 Caxton Gibbet roundabout in Cambridgeshire.  

Both existing roundabouts will also be upgraded into modern, free-flowing junctions and a new junction added at Cambridge Road, near St Neots.    

The project replaces the only remaining section of single carriageway between Milton Keynes and Cambridge and tackles one of the region’s most notorious congestion hotspots.  

Lee Galloway, interim project director, said: “The A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements scheme will transform one of the busiest road links in the East of England. 

“Helping to save drivers who live, work and travel in and around Bedfordshire and Cambridge an hour-and-a-half on their journeys every week.   

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“We’re extremely excited to be working alongside Skanska as we move through the design stages of this project and onto starting main construction.”  

Skanska will lead on the project, working in close collaboration with design partner Mott McDonald and Highways England.  

The contract was awarded through Highways England’s Regional Delivery Partnership framework.   

Jonathan Willcock, managing director of Skanska’s infrastructure business, said: “We’re delighted to have agreed this contract with Highways England which will deliver lasting benefits to the region.  

“It builds on our long-standing and trusted relationship with Highways England, through which we have delivered many successful projects.  

“We know the area well and will work closely with communities along the route to help keep the roads running during the works while providing training and job opportunities for local people – helping to deliver a lasting legacy.” 

The new road will be an important link between the M1 and the M11, connecting Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Bedford and St Neots.   

A number of junction improvements will also be made, including a new triple-decker junction at Black Cat roundabout allowing free flowing traffic onto the A1 and the new dual carriageway.  

It will also create better routes for walkers, cyclists and horse riders and improve connections to St Neots and its train station.   

Around 25,000 vehicles travel on the A428 between Cambridge Road and Caxton Gibbet every day. 

With considerable local housing and job growth expected, this number is likely to increase to around 33,000 vehicles by 2040.