Salisbury park and ride usage up by almost 50% over Christmas

USE of park and ride services in Salisbury increased by almost 50% over Christmas, new figures show – and Wiltshire Council says the trend has continued into 2024.

In the run-up to Christmas, a joint awareness campaign was run by Wiltshire Council and Salisbury Reds, who operate the buses, to encourage shoppers and visitors to make use of the park and ride as an alternative to city-centre car parks.

Extra buses and double-decker buses were also in operation on Saturdays to meet increased demand.

Now, figures show leading up to the Christmas and New Year period, uptake on the service increased by 41% when compared to the same period in 2022.

And people have continued to travel by park and ride into 2024, with January to February usage up by 20% on 2023.

Wiltshire Council cabinet member for transport, Cllr Caroline Thomas, said: “Part of our Business Plan commitment is to build an efficient and effective transport network, whilst supporting local businesses and creating vibrant, well-connected communities.

“Salisbury is a modern medieval city which featured a busy festive period of events and activities.

“Combined with the opening of popular stores such as Bradbeers and Primark, and the independent stores on Fisherton Street, we knew that there was likely to be an increased number of visitors and residents looking to come into the city centre.

“We were also aware with the scale of the improvement works being undertaken in the city centre, that it had the potential to cause some disruption for people looking to come into Salisbury.

“With that in mind, we opted to promote the Park and Ride services, as well as Culver Street car park, to try and reduce inconvenience whilst still encouraging people to come and enjoy their visit.

“We are delighted that a large number of visitors and residents decided to make use of the park and ride service over Christmas, and also that a number of people are still choosing that as an alternative to driving into the city centre.

“It was great to carry out the joint campaign with Salisbury Reds and to see a successful Christmas and New Year period in Salisbury.”

Nikki Honer, Salisbury Reds general manager, added: “It’s no secret that Salisbury is extremely congested across the city centre during busy times – especially at Christmas – and parking can be difficult to come by.

“A fully loaded bus has the potential to remove many cars from our roads – so we’re delighted that our park and ride services were put to such good use over the festive period.”

There are five park and ride sites on the main routes into the city, open Monday to Saturday. Parking is available for free with a small charge to travel on the bus service to and from the city.

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