HEADING out on his last route, bus driver Barry Wilkinson has still not officially been told he no longer has a job.

He is one of around 120 drivers put out of work by the collapse of Halton Transport today following days of speculation about the future of the council-run bus company.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "It's disgusting, basically, absolutely disgusting.

"We found out it might be closing down on Tuesday, but I've not been told anything.

"All we got told was that Arriva were having an open day, and the lads from Warrington came down to say they're recruiting drivers."

Arriva North West has already agreed to take on some of Halton Transport's routes after it officially ceased trading today, and Barry has already applied.

He said: "All I've got left is a medical, so I might have a job on Monday."

However, aged 61, he added it would be a struggle for him to get another job if Arriva didn't take him on.

But at least drivers are in demand.

Another Halton Transport employee, who has spent 18 years at the company and declined to give his name, said he would struggle as he was a "shunter", one of those employed to move the buses around the depot and refuel them.

He explained: "A lot of drivers, when they get older, they move into the garage before they retire.

"Those companies will have a list of people waiting for those shunters' jobs."

With his wife also being told this week that her hours were being reduced, he said, "it doesn't get much worse".

Outside, a small cluster of drivers were angry because they said they were told back in March their jobs would be safe.

That same March, the company recorded annual losses of nearly £620,000 and had to be bailed out four months later with a council loan.

One of the drivers told the LDRS: "I'm absolutely, genuinely gutted.

"I've been here nearly 20 years, I was talking to one of the engineers, he's been here 35 years, and we had to walk away from each other, our bottom lips were going.

"It's our life.

"It's absolutely disgusting what’s been done to us."