Surge in demand for new coaches and buses

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The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed coach and bus registration figures for the second quarter of 2016, which show a surge in demand driven by double-deckers.

The UK coach and bus market rose by 26.9%, with 2,486 vehicles registered. Double-deckers in particular were up by 57.9% compared with the second quarter of 2015.

The figures also showed a steady year-to-date performance from the industry, with registrations increasing by 6.5% on the previous year to 4,174 units.

Minibuses saw an increase in registration of 17.5%, while single-decker registrations grew by 24.9%.

Increased investment in new vehicle stock in both Scotland and England helped to drive overall market growth. This was led by operators in the West Midlands, where demand tripled, along with the North West, where purchases rose by 58.2%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Resurgent demand for coaches and buses in the second quarter is good news following slower growth earlier in the year, and today’s figures demonstrate continued business confidence of UK operators to invest in their fleets.

“However, for the market to remain steady, operators, manufacturers and local authorities now need more clarity surrounding the details of the devolution of bus franchising to local authorities via the Bus Services Bill.”