AN AM has hit out at bus company bosses after empty buses failed to stop for waiting passengers in Flintshire.

Travellers at bus stops in Deeside were forced to rely on the kindness of strangers to get them home.

“I was shocked to learn that as heavy snow fell on Tuesday night, passengers were left stranded at bus stops on the Deeside strip while empty Arriva buses displaying ‘out of service’ signs passed them by,” said Eleanor Burnham, AM for North Wales.

“It was left to the kindness of passing car drivers to pick people up and ensure they travelled closer to home. I share my constituents outrage that Arriva appear to have abandoned people deliberately in deteriorating weather conditions.

“I think we need to know if it is Arriva company policy to refuse to pick up passengers once it snows and if so, why?”

A spokesman for Arriva said: “When an Arriva bus displays its ‘Out of Service’ sign, it means the bus has finished its route for the day and is heading back to the depot.

“We understand that the weather is not great but when we are out of service, we are not legally allowed to pick up passengers.”

Tony Sharps, Flintshire council’s deputy leader, also found himself in a sticky situation in Mold.

Cllr Sharps, who lives in Northop Hall but does not drive, relied on a stranger with a 4x4 to get him home.

He said: “I waited at the bus stop outside Shire Hall for up to an hour in the snow, but there was so much congestion there were no buses on the roads.

“In the end, I started walking home like many hundreds of other people. Then kind strangers in big 4x4s were offering people lifts.

"There was some real humanitarian behaviour that night.

“Dunkirk spirit shone through.”