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New vehicles fall for ninth quarter

By The Whisperer

With many years in the coach and bus industry, The Whisperer keeps his ear to the ground for all the latest tit-bits and gossip. Tell him what’s going on in your part of the world: e-mail him via

Coach and bus registrations fell -32.8% in the first three months of 2019, as 1,205 joined the roads, according to the SMMT’s latest figures.

This was the ninth consecutive quarterly decline for the sector, attributed to economic and political instability, and uncertainty over Clean Air Zone plans.

Single-decks fell -8.5% to 422 units, but double-deck registrations recovered after seven quarters of falling, with registrations up 11.3%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT CEO, says: “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.”