With 1340 models registered, the new bus and coach market fell by 26.4% in the third quarter of 2019 (Q3), according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

While single-deck vehicles took the biggest hit, down 38.1% to 280 units, demand across all body styles dropped by double digits, the SMMT pointed out. The market for new minibuses fell 24.7%, as did demand for double-decks, down -12.2% in the quarter under review.

Chief Executive Mike Hawes said: “An 11th consecutive quarterly decline for the UK bus and coach market is a serious concern. To stem further losses and get more of the latest, low emission vehicles on our roads, we need the right conditions, including appropriate funding for local authorities, to ensure operators continue to invest in their fleets.”

He blamed the lack of orders on a combination of weak business confidence, confusion over clean air zones (CAZs) and modal shift — as well as councils’ tight budgets.

Performance over the year-to-date is also down, with registrations dropping 29.4% to fewer than 4000 units.

Registrations of minibuses and double-decks have fallen significantly, reducing by 42.8% and 16.8% respectively. At the same time, single-decks recorded a 10.1% decrease with 1459 registered in the first nine months.

Mr Hawes said that investment in low emission vehicles was urgently needed to help improve air quality in urban areas and to provide cleaner transport solutions to many consumers.

Last reviewed 6 January 2020