The Black Cat roundabout to be upgraded

Drivers using three of the busiest roads in east England are set to benefit from a 10-mile dual carriageway upgrade, transforming one of the region’s most congested junctions.

Black_Cat_Roundabout

THE GOVERNMENT has today announced a project that will improve a key east-west road link improving journeys on the A1, the A421 and the A428. The improved three-tier junction at the Black Cat roundabout, Bedfordshire, will allow drivers to pass through the junction uninterrupted, while keeping the roundabout clear for drivers making turns between the roads.

As part of the scheme, a brand new, 10-mile dual carriageway will link the upgraded Black Cat junction and the Caxton Gibbet roundabout near Cambourne in Cambridgeshire, with a new junction at Cambridge road and new bridges. The existing A428 will become a local road serving communities between St Neots and Caxton Gibbet.

Options for the new road scheme were put to the public in 2017, and the route being announced today (18 February 2018) combines the best mix of benefits and were also the most popular options at consultation. The chosen options were referred to at the consultation as the Orange Route and Option C respectively.

Highways England project lead Lee Galloway said:

"This major new dual carriageway between St Neots and Cambridge and upgrade for the Black Cat junction will mean quicker and safer journeys for people and will also boost the economy and unlock housing. As well as significant improvements locally, the project will be a vital component in improving the regional and national road network. The improvements will complement our £1.5bn A14 upgrade and form part of a wider transformation of road links between Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford.

"Well over 4,000 people took part in our consultation last year, with more than 2,000 people attending one of our public events, and it is great to see that our proposals have such strong backing. I would like to thank everyone who took part for their contribution in helping to shape this vital upgrade for the area’s road network. With the options now chosen, we can push ahead with a more detailed design, which we will put to people for their input again later this year."

Currently, the A428 between the A1 at Black Cat and the A1198 at Caxton Gibbet is a single carriageway with a series of roundabouts and give-way junctions. It experiences severe congestion and delays during peak periods or if there is an incident in the wider South Cambridgeshire area. The improvements will cut the average peak time journeys between the Black Cat and Caxton Gibbet junctions by more than a third – around a 10 minute saving on every trip.

The improvements will tackle these delays by creating a new dual carriageway, with junctions served by slip roads, and bridges to carry local roads over it. The new dual carriageway will lead directly to the Black Cat junction which is itself being upgraded to allow smoother, safer access between the A1, the A421 and the A428. 

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