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Legal challenge halts £810-£950m A428 Black Cat improvements

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A legal challenge has blocked an early start on the £810million to £950million A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements.

A National Highways spokesperson said: “Sadly we will not start construction on the A428 scheme this month.

“This is due to Transport Action Network submitting an application to the High Court for permission for a judicial review of the decision to grant the A428 Development Consent Order (planning permission).”

Planning permission (called a Development Consent Order) was granted by the Secretary of State back in August 2022 and National Highways say they have been “been busy preparing for construction”.

However, Transport Action Network (TAN) applied to the High Court for permission for a judicial review of the Secretary of State’s decision to grant the A428 Development Consent Order.

They are challenging the Secretary of State’s decision on the grounds of biodiversity, need for the scheme and climate change.

The Highways Agency spokesperson said: “We were hoping a decision on the application could be made before the end of the year.

“But the decision is now looking as though it will happen early 2023, because of this we have had to delay the start of construction.

“As this is an ongoing legal case, we cannot provide any further information. However, we are continuing to assess the impact and will provide you with further updates as quickly as possible.”

The spokesperson added: “Following our recent public information events we know the improvements are very much wanted by local people, commuters, and businesses.

“We are continuing our surveys of land, water, ecology and finalising the design of junctions and bridges to minimise impact when we start building the road.

“Our plans will help transform the region, improving journeys between Milton Keynes, Bedford, and Cambridge by bringing communities together and supporting long-term regional growth. “

The scheme will improve journeys between Milton Keynes and Cambridge, bringing communities together and supporting long term growth in the region.

The vital upgrade will improve journeys between Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge and construction work was due to begin this month.

National Highways plans will see the creation of a new 10-mile dual carriageway linking the A1 Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire to the A428 Caxton Gibbet roundabout on the A428 in Cambridgeshire.

Both existing roundabouts will be upgraded into modern, free-flowing junctions with a new junction added at Cambridge Road, improving access to St Neots and its train station.

The A428 between St Neots and Caxton Gibbet is the only stretch of single carriageway on the strategic road network between the M1 near Milton Keynes and Cambridge.

It is an important link between the M1 and the M11 and joins the communities of Milton Keynes, Bedford, St Neots and Cambridge together.

The improvements will help drivers save up to an hour-and-a-half on their journeys every week.

 

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