A BUS company which stopped running a number of services across South Somerset earlier this month has now officially ceased operating, with staff informed by a four-letter rant from the managing director.

Nippybus had a number of school services taken away by Somerset County Council after complaints about the service, and also stopped running commercial routes between Ilminster and Taunton just a few weeks ago.

The Martock-based company has now suddenly announced it will cease operating completely, with staff logging in to the work profiles to find a rude message from the managing director.

The message said: "There is a difference between giving up and knowing when you have had enough. I have had enough and realise I cannot work with you, the people I employ, a moment longer.

"There comes a time in any relationship when you just have to say "**** It", say goodbye and move on. This is my time!

"I am quitting to pursue my dream of not having to work here.

"Nippy Bus has ceased operational activity with immediate effect, October 29, 2017.

"All staff should now consider themselves dismissed/redundant.

"The gates are now closed and will not open so you can stay in your scratches Monday and have a lie in.

"The company has appointed agents who will now work to realise the company's assets and discharge its liabilities."

The Nippybus website currently has an operational update infomring members of the public of the news.

It says: "Nippybus has ceased operational activity with immediate effect, October 29, 2017.

"The company has appointed agents who will now work to release the company's assets and discharge its liabilities."

A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “We are aware of the situation with Nippybus and are currently in talks with other operators to restore as much as we can as soon as we can.”

Following the last minute announcement by Nippybus, SCC were given just 12 hours to find replacement bus routes for four schools.

Neil Bloomfield, the county and district councillor for Martock, was among the first to find out about the company's closure.

He said: "I was told by the partner of a bus driver yesterday evening.

"I have seen the message which was sent to drivers which was fairly unprofessional.

"I met with Syd Hardy at Nippybus just two weeks ago because I know they have had problems with employing drivers.

We were looking at setting up a bursary scheme to help train new drivers for Nippybus, and we had a meeting all set up for Thursday.

"I had heard rumours that the company was struggling but he assured me that everything was fine.

"I spoke with David Fothergill (leader of SCC) and a council officer last night. Nippy had four school routes and the council managed to cover three of them by 8am.

"Now we are looking at how we can encourage someone to take over the routes.

"The problem is Martock has a very proportion of non-drivers who rely on public transport.

"Right now we have a carer and a caree in the council building and they need to get to a hospital appointment.

"If we are being charitable then this is an extremely regrettable situation.

"I understand that Stagecoach has taken on a number of the drivers from Nippybus, because we have a national shortage of bus drivers so Stagecoach just looked to snap them up.

"Hopefully a commercial operator can be encouraged, and I think we need to be looking at at least some kind of short term subsidy.

"It is extremely regrettable. What really galls me is that I sat there for an hour and a half with him while he said it was all fine."

One of the companies currently in talks to take over some of the Nippybus routes is Buses of Somerset.

Aled Williams, the acting operations manager, said: "Buses of Somerset is concerned to hear that bus operator Nippybus ceased trading over the weekend, and the impact this will have on many rural communities and the workforce and their families.

"We can confirm we are in emergency talks with Somerset County Council regarding cover, but this is likely to be limited due to operational constraints.

"We encourage former Nippy Bus drivers to contact our head office in Taunton for a chat about potential opportunities and an application form

"While we have limited vacancies at present, we are always interested in speaking to people with the right skillset."

Yeovil College is one of the public routes that was left without a service this morning.

They posted an emergency notice to parents and students following the news.

It said: "We are aware of the current situation with Nippy Bus and are urgently investigating alternative solutions for our learners.

"Where possible please make different arrangements to travel to College today and follow our website and social media channels for regular updates.

"We will keep you informed with our progress and rectifying this issue is our highest priority."