AN amputee pensioner has been left stranded after a path which he has used to reach his home for the past 17 years was removed.

Bogild Skamris, 74, from Moredon, lost his right leg due to illness in 1999. He does his best to maintain his independence but is reliant on prosthetics, crutches and a wheelchair to get around.

The retired firefighter, originally from Denmark, moved into his home with his wife Nancy almost two decades ago. One of the things that attracted them to it was a concrete slabbed path linking the road to the pavement outside their gate.

The hard surface made it possible for Bogild to leave home safely and get across the sizeable grass verge - it became a lifeline.

But last month Nancy found a team of Swindon Borough Council staff digging up and removing the slabs.

“I thought they were going to come back later and re-lay it,” she said. “But when I asked them they said they were going to put grass seed down.”

“They said it wasn’t safe, but it has been here 20 years. I maintained it too because I didn’t want my husband falling over.

“The inspector just said that’s how it is. I told him Bogild will have to park on the grass now and he said he isn’t allowed to do that either. We’ve just gone round in circles.”

The couple sought the help of MP Justin Tomlinson and their local councillors. All agreed that the path should be restored and approached the council.

Initially the council said they hadn’t determined whether the location was suitable for a path, it wasn’t going to be a simple process and it might take some time to resolve.

But while this has been going on Bogild has been left either having to park illegally on the grass which he has been warned will result in enforcement notices, or risk injury crossing over to the road on the uneven grass.

“I’m not young any more,” he said. “This was one of the reasons we chose this house - so I could get to my car.”

Neighbour Albi Richardson also fell foul of the council’s interest in the street when they took issue with plant pots outside his house.

“When I asked them about it they said they do an inspection every six months” he said.

“If that’s true how come it’s taken them 20 years to notice that path?”

The most recent response from the council now accepts it is a suitable location for a path.

But there is no plan to fix it because they won’t pay to replace what their own staff dug up.

Nancy and Bogild have been told that either they will have to pay for it themselves or try to get funding from the occupational health department. to try to get some funding

A council spokesman said: “During a routine inspection by our highways inspectors, the footpath was found to have uneven slabs and did not meet required construction standards, and as such was deemed to be a hazard.

“For safety reasons, therefore, the council was obliged to remove the path and to replace it with a grass verge, in order to make it consistent with the other verges in the neighbourhood.

“The council staff undertaking the work explained the situation to residents who spoke to them. We are aware of the issues raised by them and will work with them to establish their mobility concerns, so we can arrive at the most appropriate solution to their needs.”