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Dated: 10 March 2010

German Answer to the Pothole Problem


It seems that the pothole plague that is currently gripping the British Isles is not a unique problem. Throughout Europe the story is the same as extreme winter weather has wrecked many roads across the continent.

The sheer number of the potholes created from the terrible winter has caught many central and local Governments off-guard as they now struggle to come up with the money required to pay for the repairs.

However, one small town in the eastern German state of Thuringia has come up with a rather unique solution to the funding problem. The scheme is simple - residents of Niederzimmern can buy a pothole of their choice from the town council at the cost of €50. The council then uses this money to repair the pothole and once this is completed the owner’s name is marked on the newly laid tar.

On a local German radio station Christoph Schmidt-Rose, the major of Niederzimmern, said “The point is to use a funny idea to find people who can then help us to get our streets back in order”. Schmidt-Rose then went on to say that so far the interest in the scheme has been encouraging and that people like to “feel like they own a pothole”.

Perhaps some of the pothole ravaged counties of Britain should consider a similar approach. It could help to take the financial burden off the tax payer.

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