Fears have been raised of cutbacks to Hyndburn’s Dial-a-Ride service, after the organisation that has run it for 25 years lost the contract.
Dial-a-Ride Hyndburn has been managed by voluntary organisation the Inskip League Enterprises since the mid-1980s, offering free transport on call to people with mobility problems.
The contract has been taken over by Lancashire Travelcare, with the service looking set to be reduced from October 1.
Currently the Dial-a-Ride service operates three minibuses, two funded by the county council and one by Hyndburn Council.
Norma Farmer, manager of Dial-a-Ride Hyndburn, said: "When the new tender came out it was for two county funded vehicles, but it didn’t mention the third vehicle that we have, and the evening and weekend work that we do for some of the charities and churches in the area.
"Quite a few organisations are calling us. Arthritis Care and DASH are considering whether to stop using Travelcare."
Disabled groups are now said to be facing charges of £35 per hour, or £41 on Sundays.
Labour group leader Councillor Miles Parkinson said: "Another major concern is whether the funding is secure or whether the funding from the district or the county will be reduced. These voluntary groups simply cannot afford to pay those charges."
Council leader Peter Britcliffe said: "There seems to be some discrepancy in the specification that was put forward and the service that is currently being provided so there was a problem which perhaps needed to have been looked at when the specification came up.
"Unfortunately nobody brought that to our attention at the time so the situation we are speaking of now is that the tender has been won, but the specification is currently not providing all the provision that was there."
However, the council leader said he had held constructive meetings with Travelcare bosses and remains hopeful that an equivalent service can be provided. "It was a very positive meeting and we feel that we will be able to help the groups that use the service," he said. "Our priority is to make sure that Hyndburn residents get the service that they are accustomed to. We’re trying very hard to sort that out."
Lancashire County Council was legally obliged to ensure that the service was subject to an open and transparent tender procedure.