Skanska given £24m after road work slowed by legal challenge

Skanska has been paid an extra £24m to build a new dual carriageway after a legal challenge delayed the £679m project’s start date.

The funding was allocated under the company’s contract with National Highways to build the new dual carriageway on the A428 between Milton Keynes and Cambridge. Skanska was awarded the extra money due to the impact of inflation on costs following the delay.

Skanska landed the job, which involves the upgrading of 16km of road between the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire and the Caxton Gibbet roundabout in Cambridgeshire, two years ago.

However, the planned start date was put back following a legal challenge by campaigners at the Transport Action Network, who argued that the project would lead to a loss in hedgerow biodiversity and affect important species.

Its application to appeal the refusal of permission for a judicial review was turned down by the Court of Appeal in May, and main construction can now get underway before the end of the year, with the scheme due to open to traffic in 2027.

The project will deliver junction improvements including a new three-tier junction at the Black Cat roundabout to allow free-flowing traffic onto the A1 and the new carriageway.

As well as preventing delays and increasing capacity along the route, it is designed to unlock potential longer-term economic growth in the wider Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge area.

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