UK bus manufacturers lobby government for direct support

Alexander Dennis, Wrightbus and Optare are understood to have written to transport secretary Grant Shapps to “secure the future of UK bus manufacturing and safeguard thousands of jobs”, according to The Telegraph, which says that manufacturers’ order books are 75 per cent down.

The letter says: “Without immediate support, future orders will not be forthcoming, putting jobs, apprenticeship opportunities and the wider supply chain at risk. It is vital that government funding is used immediately to enable bus operators to invest in their fleets, and the UK’s manufacturing base, with confidence.”

The companies suggest options such as bus scrappage schemes, grants and the financing of leasing arrangements.

“Most operators will not be able to invest until their businesses return to profitability,” adds the manufacturers’ letter “This means fleet investment is likely to be cut back heavily in the remainder of 2020 and well into 2021.”