Playing the waiting game

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How do you choose who you buy from? Are your decisions based on price, quali/ty of service, hours of support, location, customer service or cost of ownership?

Or, is it simply that you have a long-standing relationship that works well for you

And, how do you decide when to plump for a new piece of technology or system?

The answer to any of these questions requires you to have vital information so that you can forecast the result of your investment. Whether your aim is to maintain business efficiency, or increase it, you will normally have a good idea of the financial effect.

But what about the unknowns, such as tightening air quality standards?

We know when London will tighten its regulations to require Euro 6, and we also know what the price will be for non-compliant vehicles to enter the Ultra and Low Emission Zones.

Also, the options are simple. Upgrade your fleet, or get your customers to pay the daily charge. What isn’t known – and from the operators we’ve spoken to this appears to be a key decision-making factor – is what the other UK towns and cities will do.

By the end of the year, up to 30 of them will have to give the government a clear plan on how they are going to improve air quality.

What the effect will be on coaches and minibuses – for which there are no ‘green vehicle’ or ‘retrofit’ grants – remains unknown. Is this why there is apparently so little interest in coach retrofit? If not, please tell us why…