MOURNERS trying to attend funeral services at New Cumnock cemetery on foot simply can’t.

The walkway beside Afton Water is also used by many other groups and individuals — as long as it does not rain.

When it does...which is often, a section of the path floods and creates a deep no-go area in the form of a mini-lake.

One resident, who lives nearby, said: “It is a right of way and everyone uses it, when the weather is fine, walking towards Knockshinnoch.

“But on many occasions when there is a funeral I have watched people have to turn back or, if they are energetic, climb quite a big fence and back over again.

“Locals have contacted councillors, council officials - including Fiona Lees - and have been told that it will be fixed.

“It is a lovely walkway but no-one has got back to us — because it is a right of way many people feel it is the council’s responsibility.”

Visitors frequently use the path en route to the Knockshinnoch Disaster Memorial where they can take a detour towards the site at the cemetery.

A collaboration of various organisations got together in 2012 to carry out improvements as part of the East Ayrshire Coalfield Environment Initiative.

This included the council, conservation bodies and industry with funding coming from Ayrshire Leader and the Cumnock and Doon Valley Minerals Trust.

There would now appear to be a state of limbo as the parties decide the next move.

In legal terms, a public right of way is a road or path which can be used by any member of the public as a matter of right and used for 20 years or more.

While councils have a ‘duty to assert and keep free from encroachment any public right of way, they also have the power to repair and maintain any public right of way, however; this does not relieve any other authority or person of their liability.’

East Ayrshire Council are currently carrying out their own investigations while the Woodlands Trust are also understood to have visited the site.