Black Cat Roundabout
Black Cat Roundabout is the name of the roundabout on the junction between the A1 and A421 (formerly A428) Bedford road just south of St Neots. It was reconstructed in 2005-6 as part of the Great Barford bypass works to allow access to the new dual carriageway bypass.
It takes its name from the garage and car repair workshop which opened in the 1920s at the junction called the Black Cat Garage. In later years the garage was converted to a nightclub and then a restaurant, before becoming derelict for many years. In the 1980s, the current large covered petrol station was opened on the site.
A metal black cat sign was installed on the roundabout in January 2004, taking its shape from the cat on the original garage clock tower. During construction of the Great Barford bypass the black cat was temporarily relocated to the construction site office, before a second larger cat was returned to the roundabout upon completion in 2006. However, this sign was stolen during the summer of 2007. On 12 August 2008 it was announced that a third replacement Black Cat had been installed on the roundabout. In April 2009 the original sign was returned (albeit to a different location), accompanied by a note saying it had been found in a ditch.
The roundabout can regularly be heard being referred to on traffic reports because of the major traffic jams that it causes on the A1.
The roundabout was reconstructed in 2005-6 as part of the Great Barford bypass works to allow access to the new dual carriageway bypass. The roundabout was made much larger to incorporate the extra junction but no measures were taken to improve general traffic flow. The roundabout is considered to be one of the most dangerous junctions on the A1
The Highways Agency began work on 23 June 2014 to reconstruct the roundabout and its approaches. The £5.6M project, part of the 'pinch point' programme, made the roundabout bigger and added traffic lights.
The Black Cat Roundabout is mentioned briefly in The Oxford Murders (film).
- Roundabout cat sculpture returns BBC Beds, Herts and Bucks 6 April 2009
- Bad Junctions Web Site
- Work to begin on Black Cat Roundabout on Monday – Bedfordshire News 19/06/2014
- A1 Black Cat Roundabout Improvements – the Highways Agency
- As of 25 June 2013[update], the HA web page does not provide engineering drawings. Draft drawings are available at Black Cat roundabout works start 23 June - 14 December Archived 18 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine..
- Photos of the Black Cat on the Roundabout
- Highways Agency - History of Black Cat Roundabout
- Bad Junctions - Black Cat Roundabout
- Highways Agency Press Release
- Black Cat roundabout on Google Maps