New figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show just 328 buses and coaches joined the UK fleet in the second quarter of the year, down more than three-quarters on the year before.
Only 51 of these were single-decker buses, down by more than 90% on last year and thanks to an almost-complete standstill of public road passenger transport due to the Government’s lockdown policy.
“The pandemic has had a devastating effect on the UK bus and coach market,” commented Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive. “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.”