Milton Keynes Council makes pledge over 'sea of mud' cemetery
Grieving relatives have begged the council to improve the 'atrocious' conditions at Wolverton cemetery.
They say the dirt track road leading to their loved ones' graves at the Woburn Avenue facility is riddled with so many giant potholes that is is inaccessible to cars.
Pensioners are forced to wade through a sea of mud and at least one grave is getting churned up by cars trying to avoid the potholes.
One mourner said: "Many people have paid the £301.50 and more to buy graves and erect headstones to remember our dead. The grief is hard but this makes it even harder. "
He first complained to MK council a year ago and was told 10 tonnes of Mot stone would be laid.
"If it has this has not been carried out correctly. The road is still atrocious. Is this how we honour our dead" said the man.
He is concerned that cars trying to navigate the road are swerving onto the grassed area top avoid the potholes. And one grave at the edge of the area, in the Islamic section of the cemetery, is already badly damaged by tyre marks.
A spokesman for the council's Bereavement Services department said patch repairs were carried out on the road out last year, but he admitted they hadn't lasted as long as the council hoped.
He said: "A lot of the problems with the roadways stem from work that was undertaken to improve the drainage in the Muslim burial section and Section R of the cemetery back in 2012... Unfortunately the roadways that were excavated and subsequently backfilled have not held up over time, resulting in an uneven surface and a significant number of depressions in the roadway. These depressions are especially noticeable after heavy rainfall when they fill with water, making them unsightly and muddy."
The spokesman said the council was working on extending the "popular" cemetery to add another 930 new burial spaces. These plans, which are shortly being considered for planning permission, involve building an alternative access road off the V5 Great Monks Street.
"As soon as the planning application is granted we can proceed with the resurfacing of the existing roadways in the main part of the cemetery," he said.
But this work will not be carried out until later in the year. Meanwhile, the spokesman promised that temporary repairs would be carried out to make the road more accessible.
He said: " We will investigate the possibility of levelling the road surface to eliminate as many of these depressions as possible and the subsequent puddling during heavy rainfall. This should be sufficient to repair the roadway until it can be replaced with a new tarmac surface in the coming year."