Salisbury Reds: Please only use buses for 'essential travel'

Salisbury Reds: Please only use buses for 'essential travel'

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 1:34pm 7th April 2020.

3 minute read

The operator's reduced timetables so key workers can get where they need to, and they're asking for our help too.

Alterations on routes across the Salisbury Reds network came into effect on Sunday (5th April), with the first real test coming yesterday morning (Monday 6th April).

Spire FM's been told by passengers that some services were busy, making social distancing difficult at particularly busy times.

The local bus operator is asking to stick to the Government advice and make 'essential travel only', so those who really do need to use public transport can do so safely.

Alex Chutter, Salisbury Reds general manager, said:

"These are very challenging times, and we are committed to providing essential bus services for key workers here in Salisbury.
 
"We have been working hard behind the scenes to introduce new timetables that allow us to provide these services. This is very much a dynamic situation, where we are constantly monitoring the number of passengers, to ensure our service levels are appropriate. 
 
"Those on-board should follow Government guidelines on social distancing, and we will look to provide the level of capacity on each bus to allow people to do that. If additional journeys and buses are necessary, we will introduce them.
 
"Just a reminder, that you should only travel if absolutely necessary. I'd like to thank those living and working in the area for their patience and understanding at this difficult time, and invite key workers to contact us via the Salisbury Reds website or on social media if they are having any difficulties getting to-and-from work. We will do our best to assist." 

Salisbury Reds 26 bus on A30 near Wilton (Mike Draper)
Services on many routes have been reduced to one an hour as passenger numbers fall

WILTSHIRE COUNCIL RESPONSE

The authority has also reiterated that call for people to only use bus services if absolutely necessary.

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Wiltshire Council Leader, said: 

"In normal circumstances, the last thing we would want to see are bus services becoming less frequent, but with most passengers heeding the Government's instruction to stay at home, it is unrealistic to expect bus operators to run lots of empty buses.

"We have therefore worked with the bus companies to ensure that wherever possible, bus services still provide journeys that are needed for essential travel, and we will be pressing them to quickly reinstate the full timetables as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.

"I would also ask key workers to get in touch with the council's Passenger Transport Unit if they find that they can no longer travel to work by bus because the timetable has changed."

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