The council has apologised after a disabled man’s wheelchair got stuck in a newly turfed over pathway in Knadgerhill Cemetery.

As reported last week, outraged residents questioned why money was spent turfing over pathways in Knadgerhill after the man, who was unable to communicate verbally, had to wave for help when his wheelchair started sinking into the grass.

Resident Christine Jeffries, who came to the man’s assistance on Sunday, December 23, told the Times: “If no one had seen that guy when he couldn’t shout for help that could have been drastic.”

After residents questioned why the paths were turfed over, North Ayrshire Council said they had been in a state of disrepair and that laying turf was ‘safer and looks better’.

Council chiefs also blamed bad weather for contributing to the incident and added that in future they will put signage up.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson: “We wish to sincerely apologise to the gentleman who experienced difficulties.

“The grit pathway at Knadgerhill Cemetery had previously been in a state of disrepair with potential trip hazards so a decision was taken to lay turf, which is safer and looks better. This has been carried out at other cemeteries in North Ayrshire without any issues.

“The turf was laid at Knadgerhill Cemetery between December 16 and 21 and was inspected on its completion. Unfortunately, the settlement period for the grass coincided with a spell of wet weather and this contributed to the incident happening.

“Cones had been placed at the end of the rows with the new turf to prevent access and, in future, signs will also be placed alongside the cones to inform the public the grass is new.”

However 76-year-old resident Bill Strannigan said: “It’s still a waste of bleeding money because those paths, although they are rough, they’re hard and well set.

"Wheelchairs have been going down them for years without any problem.”