PEOPLE were left frustrated at Deeside’s coronavirus testing centre as they were left waiting for hours in queues stretching two miles long.

Dozens of cars were spotted on the Deeside Industrial Estate on Tuesday evening as a mass of people turned up to receive their COVID-19 test – for some to be turned away at the entrance.

One frustrated resident, who did not wish to be named, described the scenes as “a complete fiasco”.

They said: “I am from Mold and finally got a test after 48 hours of trying. There was a huge queue to get off the roundabout on the Bridge Road.

My appointment was for 7pm and by the time we got to the test centre it was 9.15pm. There was no help to be had, just a closed gate and a couple of blokes saying the system had crashed and there were no more tests.

“It was all so poorly signed that many people ended up going into Vauxhall’s as there was a bloke in there in a high vis jacket. A complete fiasco!”

Joe Florek had travelled from Runcorn, in Cheshire, to be met with the queues.

He said: “We got there at 6.30pm for a 7pm test, but it soon became clear that traffic was barely moving. We were stuck until 7.45pm until we gave up, drove past stationary traffic leading up to the test centre and went home."

Mr Folrek adds that he tried all day Monday and Tuesday to book a test before his wife was due an operation.

Sites in Bolton were suggested, but he said no times were available. The Deeside facility then came up and was booked - but no QR code was sent, Mr Florek adds.

He continues: “There are two centres in Runcorn but nothing available there. Perhaps they are full of people coming from Cornwall and Newcastle?

“Trying to get an appointment was a real task, like trying to get tickets for Glastonbury - and then the traffic queues were much the same!”

Social media posts reveal that people travelled from all over the country to get their test at Deeside, prompting questions why centres across the UK are not giving priority to serve their local residents.

Jennifer Oulton, from Liverpool, was in the queues on Tuesday evening and said: "Had a COVID test booked for 7pm in Deeside. Waited two hours in a queue of cars only to be turned away as they'd closed. I just don't understand. Got home after leaving at 6.30pm, only three hours for literally nothing!"

When asked about queues in Deeside at the Welsh Government’s coronavirus press briefing, health minister Vaughan Gething said: “I wrote a joint letter with Scottish Government’s Health Minister to Matt Hancock that we are seeking urgent reassurance and will continue to do so.

“Some of these are practical challenges that could and should be resolved sooner than the challenge of actually resolving the lab capacity and testing turnaround times.

“I recognise the very real frustration that people will have - having booked something online, thinking they had an appointment, and turning up to find that is not the case.

“It is something we will continue to take up as unfortunately I think we are going to see similar challenges in other parts of Wales as well and this really does underscore the need to see as much improvement as quickly as possible to allow us to give people a test when they need it.”

The facility in Flintshire is one of the few drive-in centres across Wales – with another North Wales site in Bangor - and was opened to the public in June, offering assisted and self-administered tests.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson added: “NHS Test and Trace is providing tests at an unprecedented scale – 200,000 a day on average over the last week – with the vast majority of people getting tested within six miles of their home.

“There has been a spike in demand in recent weeks and the message is clear – only people with symptoms should be requesting a test.

“We’re doing everything possible to overcome this challenge – including by bringing in new labs that can process tens of thousands of tests a day, opening new test sites, and trialling new rapid tests that will give results on the spot.

“As we expand capacity further, we will continue to work around the clock to make sure that everyone who needs a test can get one.”