BRAND new buses that cost hundreds of thousands of pounds have been left standing at a council depot for 12 months.

The seven shuttle buses, which cost £850,000, have been parked at the Alltami Depot since last June and have cost more than £2,300 for every day they have been standing idle.

Dave Faulkner, head of highways and transportation at Flintshire Council, said: “The buses which have been temporarily parked at Alltami Depot were bought to enhance the shuttle service in Wrexham and Flintshire. Unfortunately, a bid for European funding to run these additional services failed.”

Angry councillor Bernie Attridge is now calling for an investigation into why the buses have not been put into service elsewhere.

He told the Leader: “Surely these buses could have been used to expand and enhance the service we already provide.

“We hear so often from members living in rural areas about the problems of a poor bus service, yet here we have brand new vehicles just parked up for 12 months.

“This is a massive waste of taxpayers’ money. It’s a disgrace and I’m calling on the executive to investigate why this has been allowed to happen.”

Mr Faulkner said the buses would be brought into service within the next month.

It is intended to use the vehicles to enhance the 111 service between Mold, Queensferry, Deeside Industrial Park and Ellesmere Port and introduce a new service between Shotton Station and Deeside Industrial Park.

He added: “We are pleased to report that over the next month or so the buses will be brought into service.”

Opposition leader Cllr Aaron Shotton added: “I think it’s an absolute scandal and a waste of taxpayers’ money, and an investigation must take place immediately.”