SOUTH Ayrshire Council has paid out more money over the last three years for damage cause by potholes than Ayrshire’s other two local authorities - despite just a fraction of claims resulting in compensation.

According to new figures, only around one in every 12 claims submitted to SAC are accepted.

The region is well below the Scottish average for paying out on claims for pothole-damaged vehicles.

In the last three years, the council was hit with 209 claims from drivers who had hit a pothole.

However, only 18 resulted in a payout - just 8.6 per cent of all submitted claims.

The percentage of claims resulting in a payout in South Ayrshire has reduced each year: from 20 per cent in 2019/20; to 9.8 per cent in 2020/21; and 2.6 per cent in 2021/22.

The total compensation paid out over that period topped £17,000, considerably higher than in neighbouring North and East Ayrshire.

Last year (2021/22), only two claims out of 77 were approved with payouts totalling £6,412 made to drivers.

In 2020/21, 10 claims out of a total of 102 were accepted with £10,069 paid out.

The year before, 2019/20, there were six claims approved from 30 and payments made totalling £560.

Across Scotland over the three-year period, there were 13,269 claims to councils and 2,057 ended up in payouts, 15.5 per cent of the total.

The figures were obtained by the Scottish Conservatives following a Freedom of Information request.

The party said local government was being underfunded and councils were unable to maintain roads properly.

Graham Simpson MSP, shadow transport minister, said: “The dire condition of our roads is an extremely serious issue.

“Far too many local routes across Scotland are scarred with potholes which damage vehicles and can lead to crashes.

“Scotland’s pock-marked roads require urgent attention, and the SNP ought to commit to establishing the Pothole Action Funds that the Scottish Conservatives have called for.”

Kevin Braidwood, head of roads at the Ayrshire Roads Alliance, said: “The reduction [in claims resulting in a payout each year] reflects Ayrshire Roads Alliance adopting the national code of practice Well Managed Highways Infrastructure which is a risk-based approach to inspection and repair.

“The figures also reflect the capital investment by South Ayrshire Council in its road network.”