Coach and bus registration fall ‘very concerning’
The 10th consecutive quarterly decline in the number of new coaches, buses and minibuses registered in the UK is “very concerning” says Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) CEO Mike Hawes.
The SMMT attributes the decline to economic and political instability and uncertainty over Clean Air Zones. This is hitting the bus market hard as operators are unclear about what technology to order for vehicles with an expected service life of 15 years.
Total registrations saw a 30% fall in Q2 to a total of 1,433, compared with the same quarter last year.
While the registrations of minibuses and double-deckers halved, single-decker coaches and buses stabilised after a slow first quarter, up by 7% to 757 vehicles.
The fall in UK orders has seen Northern Ireland-based Wrightbus seek new investors, a process that is ongoing.
Says Mr Hawes: “While the cyclical nature of the market causes natural fluctuations, the current climate of political and economic uncertainty, exacerbated by confusion around differing local authority requirements for clean air zones, is affecting operators’ confidence and willingness to invest in the market.
“Getting more of the latest, high-tech, low-emission buses on our roads is vital role to play in improving local air quality, and we need the right business conditions to encourage fleet renewal.”
Q2 registration figures and charts are here