Skanska and Highways England agree £507 million A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements contract

Press release 23/03/2021 10:00 CET

This major project will deliver significant benefits to road users and the local community by creating a new 10-mile dual carriageway to improve journeys between Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge.

A visualisation showing part of the new 10-mile dual carriageway

Skanska is responsible for the design and build of the scheme, which will involve upgrading the route running from the Black Cat roundabout near St Neots to Caxton Gibbet. The route is the only remaining stretch of single carriageway between the M1 near Milton Keynes and Cambridge.

The project will improve safety and cut journey times by up to a third. It will also help local people by discouraging rat running on local village roads and unlock economic growth in this fast-growing region.

The project is being led by Skanska, working in close collaboration with design partner Mott MacDonald and customer Highways England. Skanska won the work through the Highways England Regional Delivery Partnership (RDP) framework, for which it is a Delivery Integration Partner for the East of England and Midlands regions.

“We’re delighted to have agreed this contract with Highways England which will deliver lasting benefits to the region,” said Jonathan Willcock, Managing Director of Skanska’s Infrastructure business.

“It builds on our long-standing and trusted relationship with Highways England, through which we have delivered many successful projects. This includes recent improvements to the A14 that were delivered eight months early and at M1 J19.

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

Lee Galloway, Highways England A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet Improvements Interim Project Director, added:

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

The new road will provide better connections between Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Bedford and St Neots.

A number of junction improvements will also be made, including a new three-tier 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 deliver better 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.