Critics say they did not have nearly enough time to object.

Financial help 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.

An all party working group that proposed the changes and was chaired by Liberal Democrat councillor, John Matthews, was formed in September last year.

However, the consultation of local groups did not happen until after Rushmoor Council's cabinet agreed the working group's proposals at the end of March.

The cabinet met Cllr Matthews on March 25 and agreed the changes. Only then were letters sent out on March 26 asking for comments by April 4, giving consultees barely five working days to put forward their views.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Cllr Craig Card, said: "The consultation should have been done earlier, I don't know why no-one is prepared to say why it was so late and rushed.

"A proper consultation should be 14 to 21 days to my mind to allow people time to give their views.

"It is preferable to have the consultation results in before making a decision. It seems to have been pushed through at the end to get it done before the scheme started in June."

The changes where passed by the full council on April 10, less than a week after the consultation period finished. Cllr Card said this was because no substantial objection had been received.

In fact only four of the 16 consultees responded by the date requested in the councils letter.

The Taxi Trade Board (TTB) representing the taxi businesses in Rushmoor which last year redeemed £100,000 of the £250,000 of all travel tokens issued, say they did not receive their letter at all.

The council did not raise the matter with them until May 12 at the TTB meeting, which is held every four months.

Terry Dee, of Rushmoor Taxis and representative of the TTB, said: "It wasn't a consultation, it was more of an advisory role."

Rushmoor Taxis, which cashes in around £1,000 of taxi tokens each week, plays a significant role assisting elderly people in the borough to get around.

Sean Orriss, from A-line Taxis, was equally unimpressed with the consultation process. "They waited until the TTB meeting to drop this little bombshell on us.

"When we attempted to challenge the decision the council said it couldn't be overturned as it had already been passed by Rushmoor Council several months ago."

However, the taxi companies had heard rumours from customers about the changes and put forward a list of their objections for the council to comment on.

Mr Orriss, added: "A large number of our elderly passengers while not registered as disabled, struggle to walk to and from bus stops.

"Without our door to door service and assistance with shopping many could become housebound."

Rushmoor Access Group is also unhappy with the way it was conducted.

Cllr Graham Tucker, chairman, said the council were late coming to them with the inquiry, and that they hadn't been able to put any representations to the council until they had a full group meeting to discuss the proposals.

"The group is not hanging on coat hooks to answer the council. Seven days is not a consultation."

Cllr Alan Ferrier, a member of the cabinet who was at the meeting on March 25, said: "It is up to the working party to do the consultation and present the findings along with the other information, it is not the cabinet's responsibility.

"A policy decision like this needs the approval of full council. Any one of the 42 councillors could have objected or called it in."

The level of opposition from Rushmoor residents and News readers has led to the review of the new scheme being brought forward to July. The review panels findings will be published in September.