In the second quarter of 2016, the UK bus and coach market ‘enjoyed healthy growth’, according to data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). New bus and coach registrations rose 26.9% to 2,486 in the quarter, leading to a year to date figure of 4,445, up 6.5%. The trade organisation said increased investment in new vehicle stock in Scotland and England drove the overall market in the second quarter, led by operators in the West Midlands where demand tripled, followed by those in the North West where purchases rose by 58.2%.
SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said, ‘Resurgent demand for buses and coaches 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.’
Minibus registrations numbered 1,173, up 17.5% from the same period last year. This lead to a year to date figure of 2,171, a 9.2% rise. Single decker registrations numbered 773, a rise of 24.9%, with a year to date total falling 2.7% to 1,392. There were 540 double deckers registered, up 57.9%, making for a year to date figure of 882, a 17.1% increase.
Registrations by marque (with 2015’s figures in brackets) were: Ford 674 (701), Mercedes-Benz 367 (315), Alexander Dennis 332 (262), Wrightbus 228 (200), Volvo 198 (193), Peugeot 141 (116), Scania 73 (97), Volkswagen 55 (98), Optare 53 (107), Caetano 40 (0) and others 325 (253).