SACKED drivers have hit out saying they are in “total shock” after the sudden closure of Nippybus and an irate message from the company’s managing director.

Frustrated Sydney Hardy, 57, announced his own departure on Sunday telling his 27 full and part-time drivers they could "consider themselves dismissed /redundant".

His farewell message added: "F*** it. I have had enough and realise I cannot work with you a moment longer"

RELATED: Four-letter rant from Nippybus managing director as bus company stops running

Driver Steve Atkins, 61, from Martock, Somerset, said staff were "in total shock".

"Nobody expected it," he said.

"It was a shock to see an email saying you ain't got a job tomorrow."

The company had 17 buses and operated several public bus routes across Somerset and Dorset, as well as school and college bus services.

Mr Atkins described Mr Hardy as a private man who "didn't have good relationship" with his staff.

He claimed the business had been struggling since a number of its drivers left to join larger rival companies such as FirstBus and Stagecoach in 2011.

Nippybus had been forced to cut the number of routes it operated as a result.

Sacked driver Dave English, 64, who was a driver at Nippy Bus for almost nine years, said: "It's disgusting the way it's been handled. Nobody has any respect for him.

"He wasn't a nice person to work with. You can't just bury your head the way he has done and not confront the problems.

"He knew months ago that the company was in trouble in terms of the number of drivers we had.

"Everyone was doing long shifts but he just expected us to do them.

"The memo makes it out that it's the drivers' fault that this has happened, but without us he would never have had his company.

"He was always going off to Thailand on holidays. He was never around. He let other people do his job for him.

"Some of these drivers have children and mortgages. We haven't been paid for last month's work."

Dave has a wife Barbara, 58, a son, 40, a daughter, 38 and four grandchildren aged 3, 4, 6 & 8. He lives in Shepton Beauchamp.

Chard & Ilminster News:

Steve Atkins worked at Nippy Bus as a driver for three years.

"Drivers haven't been paid yet for last month's work. At the moment it doesn't look very good.

"Today is the last working of the month and there's nothing gone into my account yet. I've already spoken to Citizens Advice. They've told me the procedures to go through.

"Everybody's got mortgages and bills to pay. I've had to ring up and cancel all my direct debits. Simple as that.

''There's no way I can cover them. The main thing is to cover the rent. I don't know what's gone through the man's [Mr Hardy] mind.

"We've had problems recruiting drivers, but there are driver shortages all over Somerset.

''The industry is trapped. The wages aren't so good. The council - who have had their funding cut - just can't afford to pay the bus companies to run their services."

Somerset bus company Taylor's Coach Travel has already said it will accept job applications from all former Nippybus staff.

There was confusion and chaos on Monday when Nippybus ceased operating suddenly on Sunday evening with no prior notice to customers or the County Council.

RELATED: Council react to sudden withdrawal of Nippybus services

Somerset County Council stepped in on Monday to organise alternative transport for those affected by the collapse of the firm.

The company had been running services to local schools and colleges as well as services to small villages not otherwise covered by public transport.

On Monday morning, other local operators said they were trying to "pick up the pieces", covering as many routes as possible and getting pupils to school before meeting to find a more permanent solution.

Most schools and colleges provided their students with an alternative before the end of the school day on Monday.

Mr Hardy was unavailable for comment.