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The Forth and Cart Canal was a short 0.5-mile (0.8 km) link canal which provided a short cut between the Forth and Clyde Canal, at Whitecrook, and the River Clyde, opposite the mouth of the River Cart. It was intended to provide a transport link between the town of Paisley, the Firth of Forth and Port Dundas, Glasgow, without having to go via Bowling.
The Forth and Cart Canal was closed in 1893.
An Act of Parliament obtained in 1753 made the White Cart Water navigable. The works which allowed this included straightening out part of the White Cart Water and building a bridge at Inchinnan in 1787 to carry the Turn Pike road (now the A8) over a new cut made for the White Cart Water, which was started on 23 August 1787.
The River Cart and the White Cart Water provided a navigable waterway between the River Clyde and the centre of Paisley.
The Forth and Cart canal was authorised in May 1836 and was completed in 1840. It joined the River Clyde almost opposite the mouth of the River Cart and joined the Forth and Clyde Canal at Whitecrook. It had three locks which were 67 foot (20.4 m) long and 15 foot (4.5 m) wide; limiting vessels to that size.
It was taken over by the Forth and Clyde Canal in 1855; and, together with the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Monkland Canal, was taken over by the Caledonian Railway in 1867. The Forth and Cart Canal was closed in 1893 as it was unprofitable.
The closure of the canal provided an opportunity for the Glasgow - Clydebank railway, which brought workers from Glasgow to the adjacent Thompson shipyard, to entend the line to Dalmuir. This line opened in 1896, and destroyed the first section of the canal. More of it was obliterated when Argyll Road was constructed over its course.
Despite its having been closed for over 100 years, the Environmental Statement for the construction on a new junction on the M8 motorway noted that the course of the canal was still clearly visible to the eastern edge of the shipyard site, and concluded that much of it probably still existed. A subsequent planning application for the development of the shipyard site stated that although it had been intended to reinstate a short section of the canal as a water feature, investigation had shown that there were no substantial remains of the canal left, and the planning restrictions that protected the line of the canal were rescinded.
There were three locks on the Forth and Cart Canal: a single lock, and a pair of staircase locks. The total rise was 30 foot (9 m).