A HOVERCRAFT in Dursley has never been used since it was bought for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) in the aftermath of the 2007 foods.

The vehicle, along with another based in Newent, cost £110,000 and were paid for by the Severn Trent's Community Recovery fund.

However the vehicle, which uses air pressure underneath to float and a fan to move it over various surfaces including water, has not left its home at Dursley Community Fire and Rescue Station for anything other than training.

Because of the vehicle’s versatility and ability to travel across multiple surfaces, they were expected to be used for rescuing stranded people and help animals stranded in high waters.

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service said it was looking at whether local voluntary rescue groups could run them to get the best use out of them.

Chief fire officer Stewart Edgar said they would still be available for emergencies when needed.

"We're talking to local voluntary rescue groups about whether they could help us make more use of the hovercraft than we do at present,” he said.

"They've not been deployed since they were given to us, so we're looking to see if we can find a way to put them to better use.

"We're only talking to local groups, and any arrangement would allow for them to be deployed in Gloucestershire if there was an emergency here that needed them.

"We're still only looking at ideas at the minute."

The two hovercrafts were both loaned to Cumbria’s fire service in 2009 when the region was hit by flooding.