Plans to improve the A428 between the A1 Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire and the A428 Caxton Gibbet roundabout in Cambridgeshire moved a step closer today, after Highways England’s proposals were formally accepted by the Planning Inspectorate for examination.
The Planning Inspectorate will now start the process of a full examination of Highways England’s proposals before deciding whether to grant a Development Consent Order, which will help to inform the Secretary of State for Transport when deciding whether to give the green light for construction to begin.
Mayor Dave Hodgson, Chair of England's Economic Heartland's Strategic Transport Forum said: "Delivery of the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet scheme is identified in our recently published Transport Strategy as a regional priority. EEH is committed to working with Highways England to ensure its delivery at the earliest opportunity. Last year’s consultation by Highways England showed the high degree of public support for the scheme which will ease the congestion and delays suffered daily by our residents and businesses, increasing the resilience of the network, and supporting economic growth and the ambitions of current Local Plans.
"The Planning Inspectorate’s decision to accept Highways England’s submission is another positive step on the way to the scheme being delivered to the benefit of both the regional and UK economies."
A number of junction improvements will be made, including a 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 improve connections to St Neots and its train station.
The Planning Inspectorate’s examination process will provide people with the opportunity to comment on the proposals in writing as well as the chance to participate in hearings. Following the examination, the Planning Inspectorate will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport, who will decide whether the project can move forward with construction.
More information about the Development Consent Order process can be found on the Planning Inspectorate’s website at www.infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/