The crucial upgrade for the notorious Black Cat roundabout has been delayed in a move described as “desperately disappointing for motorists”.
This latest government delay pushes back the scheme to 2021/22 – eight years after it was first promised.
The scheme also involves separating the A428 east of the A1 from the roundabout.
It will see the dualled A421 from Bedford to the Black Cat roundabout ontinue on to the junction of the A428 and A1198 at Caxton Gibbet, providing a continuous dual carriageway route from Bedford to Cambridge and beyond.
Originally the project was scheduled for 2019/20.
The dualling of the route between Oxford and Cambridge was first announced amid “great fanfare” in 2014 by then-Chancellor George Osborne, said Bedford’s mayor Dave Hodgson.
“However the project has since suffered from delays and seen other projects take precedence while Bedford Borough motorists and businesses have suffered continuing congestion,” said Mayor Dave.
He added: “This delay is costly for businesses and desperately disappointing for motorists.
“Businesses and motorists have continued to suffer years of daily congestion and delay at the Black Cat Roundabout.
“The government needs to start recognising the importance of vital infrastructure upgrades like this and get on with them.”