A PENSIONER was left outside in the cold for more than an hour after the park and ride service he boarded changed into a school bus.

Patrick Hillman, 76, lives in Bishopdown Farm and caught the bus into Salisbury from the park and ride site on London Road on Monday, January 8.

A double-decker bus labelled PR7 stopped on Castle Road at 2.15pm which was confirmed by the driver to be going to London Road.

But just as the bus was due to leave, at 2.24pm, all of the passengers were told to get off as Salisbury Reds needed to use it for a school run.

Feeling "horrified" by the way he was treated but being "an obedient Salisbury resident", Mr Hillman followed orders and returned to the roadside.

Salisbury Journal: Patrick Hillman was shocked with the service.Patrick Hillman was shocked with the service. (Image: Newsquest)

Upon asking when the next bus would arrive, the employee allegedly told Mr Hillman that he did not need to check the Reds app and knew the next bus was on its way.

Mr Hillman said he waited in the "freezing temperatures" for more than an hour for the next PR7 to appear as the timetabled 2.54pm bus was cut.

Mr Hillman told the Journal: "Not only is this a very poor service for our city, it's a poor advertisement for visitors.

"One lady behind me said it was the first time she had caught the park and ride and that it would be her last."

Due to Mr Hillman's partial sight, he is unable to drive and relies on Salisbury Reds to provide a reliable transport service.

This incident happened a few hours after the driver of a double-decker school bus crashed into a bridge at Drakes Corner, Ford.

Read more: School bus crashes into bridge in Ford

Operations manager at Salisbury Reds David Newton said there was a shortage of vehicles and said he was sorry to hear about Mr Hillman's bad experience.

He added: “Regretfully, we experienced a shortage of vehicles. Whilst the incident in Ford did reduce our capacity, we would normally have enough buses to cover this. 

“Unfortunately this was not the case on Monday, and it was necessary for us to bring in a bus from elsewhere in our fleet. 

“We try very hard to avoid asking passengers to leave a vehicle at any time but this particular bus was required to transport school pupils."

Mr Newton extended his apology to the other passengers who were also inconvenienced and wanted to reassure them that he is doing everything possible to ensure this "unusual" situation is not repeated.