PEOPLE in Old Kilpatrick and Bowling are counting down the days until a key stretch of road between the two villages reopens.

Earlier this year the Post revealed Network Rail’s plans to close the stretch of the A814 over the railway line at the west end of Old Kilpatrick from August 2 until November 26 to install a new bridge over the railway linking Clydebank and Dumbarton.

The railway infrastructure company says the road will reopen on December 10 - two weeks later than planned.

Rail bosses said the previous structure had deteriorated to the point where it was no longer suitable for the weight and volume of traffic passing over it each day.

A shuttle bus has linked Old Kilpatrick with Clydebank throughout the closure - but people in Bowling have been left without an eastbound bus link for almost four months because of the diversions required by the work.

Network Rail says that while the A814 will reopen to traffic on December 10, work on the new bridge won’t be fully complete until December 17.

Janice Hall, who lives in Old Kilpatrick, told the Post: “The older residents I speak to are so appreciative of the shuttle bus, though will be as delighted as me to get our lives back to some kind of normal again.

“I’ve skipped meeting up with friends in the city really throughout the construction works as it’s such a nuisance. It’ll be strange hearing traffic again passing through the village.”

Last year Network Rail spent £1 million on a temporary “bailey bridge” over the railway, but the company announced in July that the time had come for a permanent replacement to be installed.

Vehicles have been diverted via the A82 while the road is closed.

Ms Hall continued: “For months it’s only been school traffic, the shuttle bus and the people who haven’t read the signage and have to go up to the bridge then realising no access have to turn back.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We understand the inconvenience this delay will cause to the local community and are working as quickly as we can to complete the project and fully reopen the road.”