Improving the A428 would be a 'huge waste of money'
Countryside campaigners say plans to improve the A428 between Caxton Gibbet and the Black Cat roundabouts will be a huge waste of money.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) insist there will also be a severe impact on the environment, and believe the money would be better spent on a “step change in public transport”.
The organisation’s criticism comes as Highways England experts study the results of a public consultation exercise on the scheme.
The roads agency has published three possible routes for dualling the road between the two roundabouts.
Highways England says: “The A428 between the A1 junction near St Neots and the A1198 Caxton Gibbet is single carriageway with a series of roundabouts and give-way junctions.
“It experiences major delays during peak periods, resulting in delays and reduced speeds. With few available diversions, incidents and accidents result in disruption over a wide area.”
However, the CPRE says research it commissioned from a firm of consultants, Transport for Quality of Life Community Interest Company, has highlighted flaws in the proposals.
A spokeswoman for the CPRE said: “Over the medium to long term, the A428 scheme will not reduce congestion or journey times or make any significant contribution to economic growth.
“The Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, of which the A428 would form part, seems designed to promote even more development, which would simply use up the additional road space created.”
The organisation said the estimated cost of the project was huge at £1 billion.
Regional chairman Michael Monk said: “In our view, the consultation has been rushed. We consider the gains in terms of reducing congestion would be short-lived and would cause significant damage to our countryside.
“It is also premature in advance of studies currently under way for the Oxford/Cambridge corridor and the A1 between the M25 and Peterborough.
“We would prefer to see an holistic approach, which would include all modes of travel and take account of development implications.”