Confusion surrounds the fate of a troubled council-owned bus company after a crunch town hall meeting last night.

Halton Transport services have been disrupted on Thursday morning after several drivers did not report for work amid fears the company was going bust while the company’s website appears to have been deleted.

A member of Halton Transport staff told the LDRS: “We’ve got some services out if drivers have turned up, and it will be the same tomorrow.”

The employee said they had no further information about the company’s future.

The bus company, owned by Halton Council, recorded losses of almost £620,000 last year, is more than £400,000 overdrawn and had to be bailed out by the council in July with a £750,000 loan.

Several schools in the borough have already begun talks with other bus companies to ensure disruption to student travel – in many cases provided by Halton Transport – is minimised.

Riverside College’s website has announced that different bus companies will be providing its school services from Monday.

Halton Council held a behind-closed-doors meeting on Wednesday night at which it is understood that the future of the company was discussed.

However, the outcome of the meeting has not yet been made public.

Previous statements from the council appeared to raise the possibility that the local authority would not bail the company out again, saying it had become “more difficult” to support Halton Transport through its financial problems.

Prior to Wednesday’s meeting, a council spokesperson said: “Halton Transport has experienced significant financial and operational difficulties for some time.

“Despite the significant financial challenges faced by the council, and the many calls on the council budget to maintain a wide range of services to the public, the council has been working with the company to try to support it.

“However, this is getting more difficult as the competing pressures on council budgets and services increase.

“The council is continuing to engage with the company.”