Just 328 Buses and Coaches Join UK Roads in Q2, as Market Grapples with Pandemic

SMMT's Bus and Coach Registrations

New bus and coach registrations fall -77.1% in Q2, with 328 vehicles joining UK roads. Single-deck demand plummets -93.3% to just 51 units, down from 757 last year. 1,731 vehicles registered in first six months, down -34.6% year on year. 

UK Roads See a Decline in Buses and Coaches on its Roads 

New bus and coach registrations fell -77.1% in the second quarter of this year, with just 328 units joining British roads, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (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 a 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.” 

About the author

Charlotte Nahon is the Communications and Digital Executive for Commercial Tyre Business. Since 2018, Charlotte has been in the Digital and Communications sector, working in Canada as well as Spain. Her degree is in Communication Studies from the University of Ottawa, and ever since graduating she has been writing for multiple sectors including automotive, energy, education, pharmaceuticals and more. 

Email: charlotte.nahon@retreadingbusiness.com

Phone: (44) 1270 668 718

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