COTSWOLD District Council has thrown a lifeline to motorists on a Cirencester street after it was announced that residents could be left with nowhere to park for up to six weeks.

People living in Chester Street had been told to look for an alternative parking space while the road is partially closed to allow energy company Wales and West Utilities to carry out “essential” gas works.

In order to alleviate the flow of traffic, a temporary one-way system will be established from Victoria Road to the Avenue.

In an effort to help residents, CDC will be allowing residents affected by the disruption to park in the Forum Car Park free of charge.

Cllr Barry Gibbs, cabinet member for parking issues, said: “It’s understandable that people in Chester Street will be anxious about parking arrangements while the work is underway. By offering them permits to park nearby for free we hope that we can make life a little easier for them during the upheaval.

“This solution will enable them to park safely and avoid unnecessary congestion in the roads surrounding Chester Street.”

The news has been well received by people in Chester Street, resident Robin Birch said: “The council themselves have actually been brilliant. They have done exactly everything that they are supposed to do in these situations.”

It was originally announced that Wales and West Utilities would close the whole road while work is carried out, leading some to be worried for the welfare of the elderly and disabled people who may require an ambulance.

Mr Birch said: “Now that we have been told that they are not going to close the whole street in one go, I think a lot of the worry that people had has gone away.”

The work, which is due to begin on Thursday, January 16, will involve the replacement of more than 360 metres of gas mains and forms part of a multi-million pound operation by Wales and West Utilities to replace old pipes with new ones across Wales and South West England.