PROBLEM parking in Cirencester’s Forum Car Park is to become a thing of the past after Cotswold District Council has started work on the necessary refurbishments.

Drivers have often been left frustrated at the small parking bays that can make moving in and out of the car park a difficult task.

There had also been criticism that some of the parking bays were unusable due to street lights being erected within the designated space and that the car park was frequented by potholes.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, Lib Dem leader on CDC, welcomed the refurbishments but said that the entire process is “long overdue”.

He said: “Given that the council had a surplus of £1.5 million on parking charges last year, the least it can do is bring its car parks up to scratch.

“For too long the area’s car parks have been used as a cash cow. It is high time the cash was ploughed back into them.”

Last month it was announced that CDC would invest around £1.5 million into renovating the area’s car parks.

Cllr Barry Gibbs, cabinet member responsible for parking issues, confirmed that the council had appointed a consultant to prepare a number of proposals for the upgrade of Cirencester’s car parks.

There was also talk within the council that alternate methods of payment, such as a pay on exit scheme, could be introduced in the future.

Commenting on the work in the Forum Car Park, a spokesman for CDC said: “We have carried out partial re-lining in the Forum Car Park, as the lines were wearing out.

"The remainder of the car park relining will be carried out when the weather permits. Some bays have been changed to make it easier for drivers to manoeuvre in and out of spaces.”