A quarter of the 2,800 jobs are set to be axed at the bus and coach-making operations of cash-strapped Mayflower Corporation, which collapsed last week.

A source told the Daily Telegraph that the redundancies would be "in days not weeks - 25% across the bus business."

The paper said TransBus has operations in Guildford, Surrey, where it makes chassis, Scarborough and in Falkirk and added that Mayflower administrator Deloitte & Touche declined to comment on the job losses.

The Daily Telegraph said it had emerged that the four founding directors of Mayflower are sharing a separate £9 million pension pot, when the main staff scheme is in deficit and added that reports claimed that the generous retirement scheme was ring-fenced from the pension scheme for other staff and administered by separate trustees.

The fund entitles John Simpson, the former chief executive who left the company last week, to receive an annual payment of £300,000 while two directors, David Donnelly and John Fleming, are both in line for six-figure sums and a third, Terry Whitmore, would get £92,000 a year, the report added.

The paper said the news would be galling for members of Mayflower's UK scheme, which has a £17.7 million deficit, and who now face an uncertain future.

Mayflower was placed into administration last week, after its directors failed to find a solution to its financial crisis with its lenders, the Daily Telegraph noted.