A NEW £50million bridge over the River Clyde connecting two communities is being planned by council bosses.

The road bridge would link Yoker, in the West of Glasgow, to Renfrew.

The project, which is being led by Renfrewshire Council, is likely to begin in 2018 or 2019.

Once complete, the bridge will provide residents with quicker access to Braehead shopping mall and Glasgow Airport.

The bridge will be able to open to let vessels pass up and down the river.

Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan said it would be a "spectacular sight" when it is built.

The project is part of the £1.13billion City Deal for the Glasgow region, which will see the UK and Scottish Governments each give £500m of extra investment.

The councils in the region will supplement this by borrowing £130m.

The money is being used to pay for major infrastructure and roads projects in a bid to boost the area's economy by £2.4bn annually.

Mr Macmillan said: "Renfrewshire is at the forefront of the £1.13bn City Deal programme, with projects to develop the long-awaited rail link to Glasgow Airport and further development at Clyde Waterfront/Renfrew Riverside.

"A road bridge connecting Renfrew and Yoker is another key project which will bring benefits to communities on both sides of the Clyde.

"The bridge will support further private sector investment and job creation, with improved access to investment opportunities at Glasgow Airport and Inchinnan Business Park."

He said the cost is likely to be "in the region of £50m with a potential start date of 2018 or 2019."

He added: "Obviously, things are at an early stage but it is likely that the design and engineering solution will need to accommodate some form of opening or moveable structure so that navigation can continue on the river.

"That should make for a spectacular sight once the bridge is in place."

However, the project leaves a question mark over the future of the Renfrew Ferry.

There is also uncertainty over the future of the planned Yoker Relief Road, which has attracted local opposition.

Garscadden/Scotstounhill councillor Graeme Hendry said he thought the relief road was going ahead as part of the City Deal.

The road, which would run from Yoker to Clydebank, to take the pressure off Dumbarton Road, has been in Glasgow's planning books for decades but has not moved forward.

Mr Hendry said Yoker residents contacted him a year ago because they had received a planning application from the council regarding the road.

However, it turned out the council was not planning anything and the letter was just part of a routine process to keep the application active.

Mr Hendry said: "It's causing confusion.

"The council needs to drop the road if they're not interested it in anymore and explore the possibilities in delivering other plans.

"Yoker is an area which could benefit from easier access to Braehead.

"I can see the logic in the bridge."

Mr Hendry called on bosses to carry out an economic analysis of what it could bring to each area.

He said: "We seem to have a wish list and the cash there, but no concrete plans on taking things forward."

rachel.loxton@ eveningtimes.co.uk