SALISBURY Reds has come under fire for its inconsistent and unhelpful service even though the company has just celebrated achieving three accolades in the UK Bus Awards. 

The company achieved Top Shire Operator recently which drew many comments of disbelief on the Journal's Facebook page when the article announcing the award was published. 

Salisbury Journal: PR3PR3 (Image: Newsquest)

Beehive resident, Ken Smith contacted the Journal about his wife's recent experience. 

He said: "My wife and a friend used the Park and Ride bus service from The Beehive last Friday. After their shopping spree, they waited for over one and a half hours in very cold weather for a bus that failed to turn up.

"The electronic signs would indicate that a bus (PR11) was due, only to be cancelled two minutes before. Several busses passed by to Larkhill and some were 'Not in Service'. "

Read more: Salisbury Reds parent company scoops award

When phoning Salisbury Reds for an explanation, they were told only that there were issues without further explanation.

Mr Smith said: "A friend had to drive to Salisbury to rescue them from the cold. It seems to me that the main issue with Salisbury Reds is competence or should I say lack of it.

"If Salisbury Reds wish to continue in business, they should try to run an efficient and frequent service. If Salisbury City wants to attract shoppers and keep cars out of the city centre, then it should ensure the bus company is competent.

"As Winchester is roughly the same distance from our home it looks the more attractive prospect for future shopping trips, their Christmas Market is also much better."

Read more: Salisbury Reds under fire

Salisbury Journal: Salisbury Reds busSalisbury Reds bus (Image: Newsquest)

Salisbury Reds scooped its awards UK Bus Awards scheme which was founded in 1996. The judging for the award included the assessment of buses and drivers, operators’ mobile apps, customer service and public relations.

Salisbury Reds had previously listed staff shortages and sickness as reasons for some buses not running and the loss of drivers as part of the HGV driver shortages. 

Read more: HGV drivers lured bus drivers away

Salisbury Reds Operations Manager, David Newton, said: “I’m sorry to learn that some of our customers had a poor experience when using the park and ride service recently. 

“We are currently experiencing a particularly challenging period, in terms of traffic and weather - and this has put extra strain on our ability to maintain reliability on some services. 

“Our team is doing all we can to ensure services are on time, but sometimes this is not possible for reasons outside of our control. I recommend our customers download the Salisbury Reds app for live bus times and service updates.

“I’d like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by any delays and reassure our passengers that we are doing everything possible to minimise any disruption.”