Coronavirus impacts PCV registrations

Coronavirus’ impact on coach and bus registrations is apparent in the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT’s) latest figures.

New bus and coach registrations fell 77.1% in the second quarter of this year, with just 328 units joining British roads, according to the SMMT. The decline follows an almost complete standstill of public road passenger transport as pandemic lockdown measures were implemented throughout the country from mid-March.

Single-deck bus registrations saw the biggest decline, down -93.3% to just 51 vehicles, as double-deck bus demand also fell substantially, down -62.7%. Meanwhile, demand for minibuses fell -57.6% to just over 200 vehicles, albeit still showing growth in the year to date of 21.5% following a buoyant first quarter.

Overall, figures for the first six months show a decrease in demand of more than a third (-34.6%) to 1,731 units. Registrations of single-decks and double-decks fell significantly, dropping by -67.5% and -61.7% respectively.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “The pandemic has had a devastating effect on the UK bus and coach market. With lockdown measures halting nearly all road public transport, operators’ willingness and ability to invest in their fleets has plummeted. It’s essential that this vital sector can spring back into action as restrictions ease and people return to work and school. We urgently need the government investment announced earlier this year to be released to get the sector moving and the latest low emissions buses on the road to replace the most polluting older vehicles. Longer term, we need a national bus strategy to help inject confidence into both the sector and, importantly, the travelling public.”

Earlier this month, the Government announced it is to publish a National Bus Strategy, which is to set out how it plans to support the sector going forward.

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