UK launches its most expensive road project

Construction has started on the UK’s most expensive road project, following the green lighting of National Highways’ €1.15 billion upgrade of the A428, which connects the cities of Cambridge and Milton Keynes.

Aerial view of the UK's A428 highway, to be upgraded by National Highways 16km of the UK's A428 highway is to be upgraded, says National Highways

The project involves the construction of a new 16km dual carriageway in Cambridgeshire, with the government-owned roads company saying it will reduce journey times by more than a third during peak hours.

The dual carriageway, to be delivered by Skanska, working with design partner Mott MacDonald, will include a number of new bridges spanning the carriageway and a river.

The existing road, which currently sees around 25,300 vehicles daily, is expected to accommodate an increased volume of 32,900 vehicles by 2040.

Construction was originally scheduled to start in late 2022, but faced delays due to objections from the Transport Action Network, a sustainable transport campaign group.

The group sought permission for a judicial review over concerns about the project’s consideration of climate change and nature. However, the Court of Appeal dismissed the application in May.

‘Resilient and connected future’

Transport minister Anthony Browne assured the public that the project would include a focus on carbon-neutral construction methods, such as the use of electric-powered equipment.

“It’s not just an infrastructure project,” he said, “it’s a commitment to enhancing the lives of people in South Cambridgeshire, St Neots, and beyond.”

National Highways’ executive director for major projects, Nicola Bell, called the start of construction a “momentous occasion,” describing the project’s potential to ease congestion, improve connectivity, and foster economic growth and “lay the foundations for a more resilient and connected future”.

The project is part of a broader plan to utilise savings from the largely cancelled High-Speed 2 (HS2) rail project for road resurfacing across the country.

The upgraded A428 is scheduled to open in 2027.


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Andy Brown Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786224 E-mail: [email protected]
Neil Gerrard Senior Editor, Editorial, UK - Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 7355 092 771 E-mail: [email protected]
Catrin Jones Deputy Editor, Editorial, UK – Wadhurst Tel: +44 (0) 791 2298 133 E-mail: [email protected]
Eleanor Shefford Brand Manager Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786 236 E-mail: [email protected]