The original transliteration of the road in Chinese, "梳利士巴利道", failed to account for the fact that the i in the word is silent. The Hong Kong Government corrected the transliteration in the 1970s by dropping the second character "利", and adopting the current name "梳士巴利道".
Salisbury Road was extended westwards to the tip of Tsim Sha Tsui in 1904. Train and ferry termini were erected at its end. The Kowloon–Canton Railway originally ran along Salisbury Road, and its terminus Kowloon Station was located at the western end of road. The terminus was moved to Hung Hom in 1974, and the station complex at Salisbury Road (except the Clock Tower) was demolished. However, the KCR returned to the area in 2004, when the East Rail extension was opened. The extension runs underneath Salisbury Road, with its station East Tsim Sha Tsui Station located underneath the intersection of Salisbury Road and Chatham Road South.