After several years of pandemic disruption, the regular autumn bus industry showcase returned to the NEC this year; Euro Bus Expo. Though there were notable absences, such as Wrightbus, Caetano and Mercedes-Benz, and the show was overall of a noticeably smaller scale, most attendees I spoke to were positive, enjoying the company of their industry colleagues.
For me, there were two standout themes. From the coach side of the industry, almost every supplier and manufacturer was keen to show off their vehicles’ new PSVAR compliance. There were lots of vehicles displayed with deployed lifts, and many showing a new PSVAR specification. Perhaps it is because of the pandemic gap, but this felt overdue.
I recall a fierce debate prior to the pandemic about whether coach operators should already have their fleets in order or whether the PSVAR compliance deadline should be pushed back because so many operators had no chance of meeting it. Some operators who had invested in compliant vehicles were frustrated at others getting away without doing so, while others found it to be the latest problem on a long list of trials making coach operators’ lives very difficult, following on other challenges like the collapse in value of second-hand coaches due to low emission zones.