Following an extensive consultation Highways England have today announced the preferred option for upgrading the Black Cat Roundabout and the route for a new dual carriageway to Caxton Gibbet. The “Orange Route” sees a new dual carriageway closely aligned with the existing road.

The Preferred Orange Route

The existing Black Cat Roundabout will be upgraded to a Three Tier Junction allowing traffic to flow freely along the A1 and from the A421 into the new dual carriageway. Black Cat Roundabout has historically been a cause of delay, especially during rush hour. The proposed scheme is expected to reduce journey times by 10 minutes and forms part of a larger plan to improve the road links between Oxford and Cambridge.

The dualling of the A421 back in 2010 unlocked Bedford as a key logistics location. The resulting success story is well documented and we are continuing to see investment in Bedford from developers including LondonMetric & Graftongate at Bedford Link Logistics Park, Goodman at Bedford Commercial Park and Canmoor at Wilstead Industrial Estate. Its unique position gives occupiers the choice between both the M1 and the A1. In our view, any infrastructure investment which builds on this is extremely welcome.

Highways England have suggested that work may start in 2021/2022.