New registrations: decline continues

New bus and coach registrations fell 32.8% in the first three months of this year, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). There were 1,205 PCVs joining British roads during the period. Quarter one marked the ninth consecutive quarterly decline for the sector. Economic and political instability and uncertainty over Clean Air Zone plans continued to affect the market, according to the SMMT.

Minibus registrations saw the most significant decline in demand, falling 56.5% to 448 units, while single-decks also suffered a fall, down 8.5% to 422 units. Double-deck registrations, however, recovered, reversing seven quarters of negative growth with registrations up by 11.3%.

SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said: “Despite the cyclical nature of the market, the ninth month of decline for the UK bus and coach market is alarming. Operators are facing many challenges, with political and economic uncertainty, alongside confusion surrounding the upcoming Clean Air Zones affecting confidence to invest in these big ticket items. We need the right conditions if we are to see more of the latest, high-tech, low-emission buses on our roads, where they have a vital role to play in improving local air quality.”

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