Financial assistance for car parking, trains and taxis has been scrapped by the council in favour of an annual bus pass giving half-price travel.

But angry pensioners believe the council has taken away their choice of how travel concessions should benefit them based on their lifestyle.

And some councillors have also raised their concerns over the fairness of the scheme.

Aldershot pensioner Fred MacDonald, 69, said: "We have a car and are not going to start using the bus. What really annoys me is that council tax has gone up and now represents 11% of our pension, forcing me to continue working after retirement age.

"The parking tickets were just a little something in return. Now that has gone, we will get no travel benefit at all."

Under new laws, the council must provide half-price bus travel for over-60s. Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Craig Card said that as a result the council reviewed the concessionary travel scheme.

"Now men claim concessionary travel from 60 it doubles the number of people eligible.

"We felt the best way to benefit the greatest number of people and those who need travel assistance the most, was to offer an annual bus pass giving half-price travel."

But Mr MacDonald believes the pass (called the Farepass) is not a viable option for the thousands of pensioners who like himself have a car, or who are physically unable to use the bus and so rely on taxis.

"This is not London where there are bus stops at every corner, regularly going to most places.

It's a bit of anomaly in an area like Rushmoor."

Brenda Rayner, 63, said she had lived in Farnborough for 30 years and never used the bus service. "You never see a bus. They are expensive, even at half price."

Cllr Card said buses were stuck in a vicious circle. "Until more people use them, bus companies can't reduce prices or increase services."

But Mrs Rayner says pensioners do not want to walk to the nearest bus stop, stand and wait for a bus and then struggle back with their shopping.

She added: "I want to know why no-one mentioned this before the elections in May."

The proposal was put to the cabinet in February, and endorsed by the full council at its meeting on April 10, but not all councillors were aware of the changes.

Cllr Maurice Banner said: "The item was on the agenda, but unless someone raises an issue, it wouldn't be specifically discussed by the full council."

Cllr Colin Balchin, whose wife uses the car parking tokens, also expressed surprise at the decision in last Tuesday's council meeting.

Those unable to use a car or bus, who redeemed tokens on taxi services, will suffer most as it will now only be available to people over 75 or with a disabled badge.

Sean Orriss, from A-line Taxis in Farnborough, said: "Of the £250,000 of travel tokens handed out last year, £100,000 were redeemed by taxi services. A lot of elderly residents rely on our door-to-door service."

But Rushmoor Council's chief executive, Andrew Lloyd, claimed the scheme was to help those most in need.

He said: "More money is being provided for the over-75s. This increase in the level of support for them is made in part by being more focused.

"And the scheme is reviewed. The group meets in July and by September a report taking in feedback from these new changes will be received."

Alteration could be made then to compensate for any anomalies in the scheme.

Mr Lloyd denied the changes were a cost-saving exercise to the council and added: "Even with the changes, it is still one of the most generous concessionary fare schemes in Hampshire."