UK bus and coach demand falls by 3.6%

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The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has announced that UK coach and bus demand has fallen by 3.6% in the second quarter of the year.

Although just 76 fewer units were registered compared with the same period last year, this marked the sixth consecutive quarter of decline, with 2,029 vehicles joining UK roads.

Between April to June, single-deck registrations were down 12.2%, while double-decks fell 1.2%.

Meanwhile, demand for minibuses rose 2.8%, marking the second consecutive quarter of growth, which follows more than a year of decline.

Overall year-to-date figures for 2018 show a similar picture, with demand in the first half of 2018 down 4.0%.

Registrations of single-decks and double-decks fell 14.5% and 22.7% respectively.

At the same time, minibuses recorded a 12.7% rise, with 2,013 registered in the first six months.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “With this now the sixth quarter of decline in the UK coach and bus market, it’s clear that political and economic uncertainty, exacerbated by confusion around differing local authority requirements for clean air zones, is taking its toll.

“The latest low emission Euro VI diesel, hybrid and zero emission electric buses are crucial to improving urban air quality, so encouraging their uptake should be a priority in order to give operators confidence to invest in their fleets.”