AN ANDOVER man has been charged after a collision with a gas main forced nearby residents to leave their homes. 

Mark Elliman, of Valencia Way, will appear at Basingstoke Magistrates Court on November 5 following a crash in King Arthurs Way at 1.06am on Sunday. 

The 35-year-old is accused of driving into a gas main and a lamppost in a Volkswagon van.

Mr Elliman was charged with driving a motor vehicle when alcohol level above legal limit. No further action for the aggravated taking of a motor vehicle offence.

A police spokesperson said that Mr Elliman has been released on bail.  

Following the collision Southern Gas Network worked through the night to isolate the leak and advised on an evacuation.

Several homes were evacuated during the incident after a strong smell of gas was reported.

People were advised not to smoke or to use light switches and if they could smell gas, to open the windows and leave the property.