A NEW project to give better and safer links from Whitecrook to the canal and rest of Clydebank has been given the go-ahead.

Planning bosses recently green lit the proposals for a path from Centre81 to the canal path to encourage more use by cyclists and pedestrians.

It will cost about £340,000 with 50 per cent already committed by transport organisation Sustrans.

If match funding is secured in the coming weeks, Clydebank Housing Association (CHA), who are behind the project, hope to have the new link open by May 2020.

The current link from the canal path is down West Street, onto Brown Avenue and then Braes Avenue for Centre81.

The new path would go behind the community facility to the path behind it.

There would be proper lighting as well as a gateway arch next to the centre.

Joe Henry, with Clydebank East Community Council said they welcomed the plans and agreed it was a good thing for Whitecrook.

He said: “It makes it easier for walkers and cyclists to pop into Centre81 and see what’s on offer. It will also help the wee cafe as passers-by may wish to pop in for a coffee and a sandwich.

“It might also encourage people who use the centre to walk into Clydebank as it’s a nice walk along the canal rather than using the bus.”

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Sharon Keenan, chief executive of CHA, told the Post: “At present, the connections to the centre of Clydebank or other parts of Clydebank are poor.

“It can be quite dangerous for cyclists or children. This will really open up Whitecrook to the rest of Clydebank.

“It’s something we have been thinking about for a number of years.”

When the centre was built more than 20 years ago, it was supposed to back on to the canal but it wasn’t possible. CHA has been working to remedy for years since then.

Ms Keenan said they had positive support from the community, Scottish Canals, and West Dunbartonshire Council about the plans.

She added: “We have a lot of support there for the project.

“We run various projects from Centre81. We are trying to reduce our environmental footprint and are running a cycling club from there.

“Access to the canal is a main barrier.

“It’s just using it and having better access.”