A 2% rise in registrations was recorded in the UK bus and coach market in the first quarter of 2016, with 1,959 new vehicles registered, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers’ latest figures. A rise in demand for new minibuses drove the growth, with the segment registering a strong uplift of 10.4% in the quarter, compensating for small declines seen in the single and double deck sectors. 1,634 of these registrations were for England, 41 for Northern Ireland, 198 for Scotland and 86 for Wales.
Total bus and coach registrations numbered 1,959, including 998 minibuses compared with 1,921 in the same period of 2015. Single deckers numbered 620, down 3.6%; whilst double deckers fell 8.8% to 341.
The top five regions by percentage growth were: the south west (290.9%), the south east (93.3%), the north east and Cumbria (22.9%), Scotland (21.6%) and East Yorkshire/Lincolnshire (18.2%).
Registrations by marque for the first quarter (with figures for the same quarter of 2015 in brackets) were: Ford 621 (532), Mercedes-Benz 272 (286), ADL 226 (352), Volvo 160 (127), Wrightbus 112 (203), Peugeot 95 (118), Scania 82 (44), Optare 44 (57), MAN 41 (5), Caetano 40 (11) and others 266 (186).
SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said, ‘Following significant increases in the bus and coach markets last year, it is pleasing to see a positive start to 2016. However, given the nature of variability in demand in these sectors and continued uncertainty surrounding policy areas such as the Bus Services Bill, prospects for continued growth throughout the year should be considered cautiously.’