SERIOUS injuries were narrowly avoided at lunchtime today, Friday, when the handbrake appeared to fail on a people carrier parked in Stroud.

The black Ford C-MAX Titanium had been left in the car park in the lane leading up from Locking Hill surgery at the rear of the SNJ office.

Eyewitnesses said that at 12.30pm the vehicle rolled down a steep incline, coming to a rest outside the entrance to the OPENhouse homeless shelter at the Painswick Inn, where it dislodged a bollard.

The lane is in constant use by pedestrians, as is the entrance to OPENhouse.

Witnesses said two people walked past the entrance just minutes before the vehicle hit the bollard.

The vehicle has now been moved.