North Ayrshire Council has refused to compensate an Ardrossan pensioner who had to fork out almost £100 when a pothole wrecked his tyre.

Thomas Stewart drove over the hole on Canal Street between Saltcoats and Stevenston in February, costing him £95.34. But the council rejected the 85-year-old’s claim for damages.

In a letter to Thomas, the authority claimed that the road had been inspected five days before the incident and that “no actionable defect was observed”.

The letter stated: “In this instance it would appear that the council have not been negligent and cannot be held responsible for the damage to your property.

“The council could not have predicted this defect would occur and therefore could not have done anything to prevent this from happening.”

When Thomas challenged the council’s decision, the authority sent him a further letter with an enclosed information booklet on how it categorises road defects.

Thomas told the Herald: “It’s quite annoying. I’ve been fighting them since February.

“We hit a hole and by the time we got back to Stevenston my tyre was completely flat. I had to get people to stop and help. It’s right on the bend at Canal Street, on a main bus route. I’m not a person to let things like this go.”

A council spokesperson said: “All claims made against the council are investigated thoroughly to determine whether we have been negligent.

“While the council has clear policies in place – and carry out regular inspections to identify any problems that exist on our roads - it must be remembered that potholes can form very quickly during periods of heavy rain and freezing temperatures.

“If anyone is unhappy with our decision, they can contact their insurers or seek legal advice.”