A woman who relies on a volunteer driver service has added her voice to calls for its disabled badges to be renewed.

Loughton Voluntary Care, which provides transport to those who need help getting to hospital and clinic appointments, has been told by Essex County Council it will lose its communal blue badges on April 30.

Doris Sage, 89, of Fairmead Road, who uses the service a she has mobility problems, said: “They help me tremendously and I don’t know what I would do without them.

“I think they should be able to keep their own blue badges.

“I gave my car up years ago and my badge is out of date, so I would have to go through the whole process of applying again.”

The group’s co-ordinator, Janet Thomas, said asking everyone who relies on the service to apply for their own blue badges may mean it could not help everyone.

“Our clients are frail, usually with mobility difficulties and should not be left alone when at hospital,” she added.

“On a recent trip to Whipps Cross hospital, the driver helped a client to a series of tests, then filled in the pre-admission form for him and finally drove him home four hours later.

“The lack of blue badge will make it impossible for us to take clients to the London hospitals.”

The council said recent changes in government guidelines on the issuing of blue badges left it unclear as to which groups should have them and is calling for more clarity.

The council’s cabinet member for adult social care, John Aldridge, said: “There will be a lot of organisations like this and we don’t wish to discourage them, but the new government guidelines say exercise discretion, which seems like a ministerial cop-out.”