Van Hool update: National Express cancels Altano order

National Express has cancelled its order for 25 Van Hool Altano TDX21 tri-axle coaches.

The announcement follows the news that Van Hool customers whose deposits for vehicles were trapped in the company’s insolvency have been told that they must apply to the ‘curators’ (receivers) for a refund.

A statement from National Express said the cancellation is due to the uncertainty over warranty and parts for the manufacturer’s vehicles.

“In the short term, the vehicles will be replaced by Caetano Levante III” – National Express 

Explaining what the alternative will be, the statement said: “In the short term, the vehicles will be replaced by Caetano Levante III, however we are keen to bring in a new high-capacity vehicle in the future and continue to discuss options with vehicle manufacturers.”

The order for the 25 Altanos was announced in March this year, with a preview of one of the vehicles at Van Hool UK’s Wellingborough site.

Van Hool UK now appears to be closed, with the company listed on Google as ‘permanently closed’. B&CB was passed on a message earlier this month from an employee at the firm which confirmed the company is to cease operations.

Calls and emails to Van Hool UK have so far been unanswered. A recorded message on every attempt to call says there is no one available to answer and asks to leave a message or email [email protected] for parts enquiries.

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