The registration in the UK’s bus and coach market fell in the second quarter of 2018.
According to the data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a 3.6% decline in registrations was recorded for the combined bus and coach market.
While this equates to just 76 fewer units with the corresponding quarter of 2017, the fall in demand is part of a wider problem; for the sixth successive quarter, the number of vehicles registered in the bus and coach market have declined. For the second quarter of 2018, this total was 2,029.
The biggest decline came in single-deck registrations; at 710, this fell by 12.2% and, for the year to date, the decrease was 14.5% compared with the number of single-deck bus and coach registrations at the corresponding time of 2017.
Double-deck registrations in the sector fell too in the second quarter of 2018, by 1.2%. For the year to date, this decline was much steeper; at 638, the number registered was more than 22% down on the level at the same time in 2017.
The only area in the UK bus and coach market that did not fall was for minibuses up to 3.5 tonnes in size. For both the second quarter of 2018 and the year to date, demand grew, by 2.8% and 12.7% respectively.
Overall for the year to date, the demand in the UK bus and coach market fell by 4%, from 3,982 vehicles registered in the year to date in 2017, compared to 3,822 this year.
Mike Hawes, the Chief Executive at the SMMT, believes there are a number of reasons why the overall market has been hit by decline. Much of Britain is embarking on policies to improve emissions, but Mr Hawes says the confusion caused by the differing approaches is not helping, and he said encouragement should be given so that cleaner fleets are registered.
He said: “With this now the sixth quarter of decline in the UK bus and coach 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.”