See how the Black Cat roundabout near Bedford will look once it's finished

Highways England awards half-a-billion pound contract to Skanska to transform the notorious junction

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 10:30 am
Updated Thursday, 25th March 2021, 6:16 pm

Highways England has awarded Skanska a £507million contract to make huge improvements to the A428 Black Cat roundabout.

Skanska will be responsible for the design and build of the scheme, which will feature 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. 

Congestion on the Black Cat roundabout is a common sight for drivers

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, Highways England A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements 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."

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, added: “We’re delighted to have agreed this contract with Highways England which will deliver lasting benefits to the region."

An artistic impression of how the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire will look once the scheme is complete

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.