Bus and coach registrations in the UK for July totalled 892, down 14.3% on July 2003. For the first seven months of 2004 total bus and coach registrations were down 9.2%.

Heavy bus registrations, over 8.5t, were 16.7% up on the same month in 2003, and hit the highest July total for four years. Coach registrations were up 31.3%, giving an 8.3% increase for the year to date. At the lighter end of the market, minibus registrations fell 29.9% compared to July 2003.

Despite the July figures, registrations over 8.5t are still on a falling trend. Modest growth in full-size single-decker registrations is mainly because of deliveries of articulated buses to London. This is balanced by lower double-deck and midi-bus registrations. Coach registrations have probably levelled-off and the SMMT’s Bus and Coach section remains pessimistic about full year registrations in 2004 and 2005.

The rolling year total for all bus registrations at July was 11,534 and for coaches it was 1,106. The corresponding totals at December 2003 were respectively 12,428 and 1,033. The larger, double deck buses saw a rolling year total of 1,395 at July 2004, this was 1,568 at December 2003. The annual average registration volume for double deck buses from 2000 to 2002 was 1,206.

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