Moving with the times
It is an indisputable fact that nothing seems to stay the same for long in the bus and coach market. The almost constant tinkering with the system for concessionary fares, fuel duty rebate / BSOG, driver’s CPC etc etc must lead operators to wonder what is coming over the horizon next.
One issue has however been very much in the forefront of operator’s and manufacturer’s minds for nearly 15 years; the impending introduction of DDA compliance for all single deck vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes g.v.w. which has to be in place by 1st January 2015. In simple terms this means that the vast majority of step entry buses based on Mercedes 709 and 814 plus early Dennis Darts will have to come off daily service and have a low floor DDA compliant bus replace them. Some low floor vehicles built prior to 2000 will also need modification to achieve the standard. This legislation has been in place since 2000, with the intention of giving as long a lead time as possible for operators both small and large to manage their fleet replacement programmes to achieve compliance.
January 2015 is still almost 18 months away, however between now and the DDA deadline, another significant piece of legislation will also come into force; the changeover of the governing emissions standard from Euro 5 to Euro 6. This is the latest stage in the constant tightening of legislation addressing clean air targets, to reduce tail pipe emissions ever further. Euro 6 is however a significant leap forward and has presented many issues for manufacturers to hit the European targets whilst maintaining passenger capacity and keeping a tight rein on the on cost for the vehicles. Most manufacturers have had to combine the previous two emissions technologies of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) to achieve the standard and this has inevitably lead to a significant on cost for Euro 6 builds. Whilst most manufacturers have not yet committed to a figure, most industry observers expect it to be approaching £10K per vehicle.
These two pieces of legislation are likely to be the key influencers in many operators purchasing decisions over the coming 18 months, as they move to a fully low floor single deck fleet. Mistral is well positioned to assist operators in making these decisions, and have a number of fleet euro 5 buses in stock on both the Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 and also the Wrightbus StreetLite range. We have packaged some very attractive offers (as shown on the right margin) to get the DDA ball rolling and would be happy to discuss individual needs with operators looking to restructure their fleets.
Our sales team are always on hand to assist and would welcome your call, or alternatively please call direct to the office on 0800 781 4144.