How the Black Cat junction would look once the project is complete Image Open Government Licence v3.0

A 10-mile section of new road to be delivered as part of a proposed major upgrade in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire is set to be named A421, National Highways has announced.

When the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements scheme opens in 2025/2026, the new dual carriageway will become an extension of the existing A421, which currently stops at the Black Cat Roundabout, through to Caxton Gibbet junction.

The existing A428 will also be renumbered in two sections as it changes from part of the strategic road network to become two local roads:

  • The A428 will become the A1428 between Great North Road in St Neots and Cambridge Road junction
  • From Cambridge Road junction to Caxton Gibbet the existing A428 will become the B1428, continuing the existing B1428 which passes through St Neots further west

It is currently going through its Development Consent Order examination process. National Highways said the scheme, if given the go ahead by the Secretary of State for Transport once the examination process has been completed, will improve journeys between Milton Keynes and Cambridge, bringing communities together and supporting long term growth in the region.

Development Consent Order – upcoming examination hearings

With the examination process entering its second month soon, the next round of hearings has been announced. They will be held next week on 22, 23 and 24 September with a reserved hearing date on 28 September, if needed.

The hearings enable people can listen in when their topics of interest are discussed. Agenda items include: archaeology, noise, and traffic effects in the surrounding area.

Compulsory Acquisition Hearing (CAH1) – Wednesday 22 September 2021 – 1:00pm

Matters relating to the powers sought for Compulsory Acquisition (CA) and Temporary Possession (TP):

  1. The case for CA and TP
  2. Site specific matters
  3. Statutory Undertakers’ land
  4. Crown land
  5. Funding
  6. Draft Development Consent Order (dDCO) provisions

Issue Specific Hearing (ISH2) – Thursday 23 September 2021 – 10:00am

Highway matters including the dDCO

  1. Need for the proposed development
  2. Traffic effects on the nearby highway network
  3. Highway layouts and structures
  4. Effects on Non-Motorised Users
  5. Outline construction traffic management plan
  6. Noise and air quality
  7. dDCO

Issue Specific Hearing (ISH3) – Friday 24 September 2021 – 10:00am

Social, economic and environmental matters including the dDCO

  1. Assessment of alternatives
  2. Heritage matters, including listed building and archaeology
  3. Landscape effects
  4. Biodiversity including Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) matters
  5. Land use, including loss of Best and Most Versatile land
  6. Flood risk
  7. Wider construction effects, including borrow pits
  8. Sustainability effects, in particular economic effects
  9. dDCO

Tuesday 28 September 2021 – 10:00am (Reserved hearing date)

  • Issue Specific Hearing or Open Floor Hearing

The hearings are being carried out virtually. You can listen in via livestream by visiting the Planning Inspectorate’s website where a link to join will be posted shortly before the hearings begin.

Links to the hearings will also be shared from the A428 Facebook and Twitter pages. The recordings of the meetings will also be posted on the Planning Inspectorate’s website shortly after they have finished, to allow you to listen in if you can’t join live.