Wanna sponsor my pothole?

The German municipality of Niederzimmern does not have the money to fix potholes. They are now selling the right to fix the road to anyone. In return, the owner of the fixed pothole can put on the road a text of her choice.

(from today’s Volkskrant)

30 replies on “Wanna sponsor my pothole?”

Richard. Heres a fantastic idea
Here in Ireland the local authorities have the right but not the obligation to fix potholes. We should set up a pothole derivatives scheme….

Well, I’ll volunteer a pothole – or rather a series of craters – on the exit from a roundabout in Midleton. Perhaps a suitable text for a ship which sank without trace might be appropriate…..

Is this a carefully crafted recipe for politically unifying graffiti?

Hopefully it will tap the social conscience of the nationalist population and inspire a suitably named German national movement…

I have come across roads in Cavan where someone painted the potholes so that they could be seen better – a sort of a shaming campaign. I assume the scheme in Niederzimmern involves the local authority fixing the holes, otherwise they might end up where we are (as I pointed out on my wasting money on roads thread).

More seriously notwithstanding the €400 million the local authorities have for fixing roads this year, local authority budgets have been sqeezed hard and that will continue. So either they improve their efficency, come up with imaginative schemes or we will have to get used to lots of potholes again.

It was common for people to fill potholes with cement in Cavan leading to mysterious concrete mushrooms as the road surface wore down around them years later. Stromatolites strike back!


Ireland has an enormous mileage of public roads. In most European countries, many would be private, and the responsibility of the (few) residents. In Ireland, all it took over the years to get a private driveway declared a public road was a by-election.

Are there no hidden benefits to potholes? What about the speedbump effect?

Isn’t it better to be breaking axles than breaking craniums?


Think of it also as an indirect stimulus for the tyre and axle contingents of the national car industry. Plus I believe that jarring of your liver is good for it. So drink that extra round on a Friday night and thank your local county council for the free detox.

These responses show a depressing lack of imagination. Lets take the German idea one step further. Local authorities should allow private companies to have naming rights on streets – not just the potholes. Thus we could have Lidl Lane, Arnotts Alley, B&Q Boulevard, and so on in place of O’Connell Street, Abbey Street, Grafton Street or wherever. On the basis of the revenue from Aviva for the naming rights to Lansdowne Road, this could turn quite a penny for the local authorities. Nor is this so far from actual practice. The right to put up ads on the streets – an invasion of the public space in my opinion – in return for the Dublin bike scheme comes close to it.

@Colm – you are right and in fact we are still giving grants to pave private roads (my application is in the cue)! In Scandinavia many smaller rural roads are never paved because the frost will lift the surface anyway – in most cases these roads are much better than our potholed paved ones.

Just had a scan at that German pot_hole. Looks remarkably like a rough map of Greece (-; who have just picked up €5 billion in 5yr bonds (via Eoin). Ms Lagarde delighted – and the communists have just taken over the Finance building in Athens ……. interesting times.

@David O’Donnell – interesting observation. I wonder if the €5bn are going to fill the pothole in the Greek budget? German politicians have called on Greece to sell some some islands.


C’mon – rustle up some derivative or other on the laptop or the back of an envelope or other and we’ll buy one before the one we’re on at the mo sinks into the black hole (-;

@Jim Dorgan

Naming streets: You’re decades behind! Does anyone know if the municipality has ever levied a royalty from the great and good SKC for the right to put up the Stokes Place nameplate at the end of their private entrance at the Stephen’s Green end of Harcourt St (and if it’s in fact a public road, why are they permitted to have a traffic barrier?).

Richard/Edgar, another point occurs about minor roads in Germany. Vehicles with laden weight > 3.5 tonnes are banned from using them, which means fewer potholes. Here, you can bring an articulated road-train onto any road you like.

Oliver’s story was a full year ago, BEFORE the Gardai raided Anglo, and the investigators still haven’t questioned the bank’s senior executives?
This is another cover up.

Anglo, like the Irish banking sector generally, is the subject of a massive establishment cover up. We all know this. Let’s start saying it.

The German ‘slogans for potholes’ scheme wouldn’t work here. We don’t ‘fix’ potholes; we fill them in with whatever ould junk the local authorities have to hand. So the first heavy vehicle that drives over the newly filled pothole spews its contents to kingdom come and the pothole’s all ready to be filled in again.

We could compact all the cars that are offered up to Bill Cullen in (his) car scrappage scheme and use them to fill the potholes which presumabley caused them to be scrapped in the first place – a nice green solution!

“We don’t ‘fix’ potholes ….”
If digging things out of holes can stimulate an economy, perhaps filling them in depresses it. So it might be best to leave the holes as they are.


I wonder are there still 4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire? Could be a nice little earner for the council.

All very well having a laugh and a joke about potholes. But if a pothole causes you to lose control of your car or destroys a wheel it’s no laughing matter then.

Wheels can lose contact with the road because of uneven surfaces. If you are in the process of taking a corner and the tyres are unable to stay in contact with the road then your vehicle will carry on in its original direction, instead of following the steering wheel and going around the corner. This can result in a expensive smash up or even fatalities.

But then again some people would say “There is no such thing as a bad bend, its always the drivers fault” I suppose following that logic there is no such thing as a bad road either.

There are also costs to be carried, poor road surfaces wear down tyres, suspension parts, bearings etc faster than normal. Hence you pay more frequently for these consumable items, and of course don’t forget the VAT which is added to the Labour charges as well.

All part of service which this country offers for the very high motor tax rates we have to pay.

“her” is not gramatically correct English when the gender of the actor is unknown.

Builders alreagy have naming rights on streets Jim Dorgan.

There is an entire housing estate in Bishopstown in Cork City named “Tiffany Downs”.

After the ranch in an American Soap Opera from the 1980’s called “Dynasty”. (Starring Joan Collins).

Google it up.

As funny an idea as it is, this German initiative might end up being the only solution in town with all the cutbacks in funding for our roads. Anyway, we thought we’d just help remind the County Councils about a few potholes they might have missed – http://www.potholes.ie

Please feel free to join us and lets do something about the potholes.

just drove from carlinstown to navan and counted 207 potholes im surprised i didnt fall into one

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