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Route picked for £1.4bn section of Oxford to Cambridge expressway

blackcat roundabout

Highways England has revealed the preferred route for a new 16km dual carriageway, which will form part of the Oxford to Cambridge expressway.

The route goes from Cambourne in Cambridgeshire into Bedfordshire. It is part of the wider expressway scheme, which comprises of a link road which would complement the East-West Rail scheme and provide transport links to help improve the economy of the areas between Oxford and Cambridge. 

Work will include a three tier junction at the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire, which will link via the new dual carriageway to 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 between St Neots and Caxton Gibbet.

black cat option c diagram

black cat option c diagram

Highways England is set to put in a bid for a development consent order (DCO) next year, with the plans now undergoing more detailed design before further consultation. Procurement for contractors will being after the DCO bid is underway, with construction potentially starting in 2022.

The government has previously set out its vision for an expressway to connect the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor. Key elements are set to be built in the second Roads Investment Strategy (RIS) period, from 2020 to 2025.

A consultation on this section of the route started in 2017.

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.”

“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,” he said.

The scheme is valued between £810m and £1.4bn and funding is coming under the first Road Investment Strategy (RIS1).

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