back to article A peeling solution to pothole has split the community... Yeah, they stuck a banana tree in it

In the UK, there are a number of things you can do about potholes: a) report it to the council; b) call the local newspaper, which will photograph you squatting angrily by the hole while you squawk "it's an accident waiting to happen!"; or c) nothing. Honestly, for most of us, c) wins out in spite of ruined suspension, buckled …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    That's if some vigilante crater crusader hasn't already daubed massive yellow knobs around them, like Cambridge's "Wanksy".

    Shouldn't this be c) on your list with "Do nothing" as d)? Unless, of course, commentards have other items for the list.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Optional options

      e) Ensure your neighbour gets elected as borough councillor (even though he's a gobby wanker) and encourage him to fall into the pothole after a heavy Saturday night in the pub. It'll be fixed by Tuesday latest.

      [Posted as AC to protect the guilty.]

      1. GrumpenKraut

        Re: Optional options

        > [Posted as AC to protect the guilty.]

        Well, almost.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Optional options

          Ah, shit! I'm just not very good at ticking the right boxes.

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: Optional options

            If you attempt to edit a post to set or unset anon. mode, the change is ignored.

            I've been meaning to report it...

          2. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Optional options

            And you tried to report the pothole to the council how, exactly? Via a webform perhaps?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A handful of acorns... "Great oaks from little acorns grow"

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Bonus points for dousing them in whatever the druid Panoramix cooked up in "Mansion of the Gods"...

      1. Ochib

        Nope, not Panoramix but Getafix

      2. et tu, brute?

        He's called Getafix in the English version... quite appropriate in this case where the road needs fixing

      3. PerlyKing

        Great oaks

        Leading to an exchange between Asterix and Obelix along the lines of:

        Asterix: Aren't you amazed at how fast these oak trees are growing?!

        Obelix: No. I never saw an oak tree grow before.

        Asterix: !?

        1. Kevin Johnston

          Re: Great oaks

          I recall an interview with one of the geniuses behind the comix saying how pleased they were with the names in the English editions and they were much better than those in most of the other language versions.

      4. Scott 26

        If Minecraft has taught me anything: you just need bonemeal

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          With 6 billion people on the planet, that's a lot of bonemeal!

  3. alain williams Silver badge

    So is this a banana split ?

    Ducks :-)

  4. stiine Silver badge

    my suggestion

    Call Domino's pizza

    Hell, in 2019 they should be able to get contractors to make red, white, and blue asphault...make the logo last forever.

  5. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    How about planting a model of the mayor's head ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I can´t do that.. I am a bloody foreigner, so I could get deported.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Illegal

        Let's face it, they way things are going you're going to get deported anyway. Why not have some fun before you leave?

  6. Aitor 1 Silver badge


    Where I live, the council "fixes" them with cold tarmac, if you call them. More than a fix, I would call it a bodge.

    Potholes everywhere.. I have never seen streets in such a poor state anywhere, including the ruins of Pompei and quite a few third world countries.

    And yes, I do A) if only to not hear from my wife that I only complain and take no action..

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Council..

      At least these days you can report a pot hole on the council's website, rather than having to send an angry letter. In Bristol there's even a map so you can find out which parts of the city have the most whiny residents (aka, who the fuck complains about a broken speed camera?).

      1. Steve Foster

        Re: Council..

        "(aka, who the fuck complains about a broken speed camera?)."

        If the installation of the camera reduced overall speeds on that stretch of road, then pretty much anyone who lives nearby might do so (unless they've been caught by said camera!).

        However, funding for replacement of broken speed cameras appears to be quite difficult to obtain, so it can be years before repairs are made. The latest trend (in the south-east, at least) is to introduce stretches of "average speed" camera checks to replace the older Gatso (and similar) fixed location cameras, usually covering considerably more road network than the original camera deployment (and extending ANPR surveillance at the same time!).

      2. Tom Paine

        Re: Council..

        (aka, who the fuck complains about a broken speed camera?).

        Persons in nearby households with children, old people or pets? Or just fed up with their 30mph residential side street sounding like Le Mans for an hour every morning and evening?

      3. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Council..

        They would definitely report it if it kept going off at 10% BELOW the limit for the road.

    2. Fred Dibnah

      Re: Council..

      I recently spend time working in the Chilterns. With its gated mansions, massive black SUVs, and crumbling roads, I felt like I was in a 1970s banana republic.

      1. Aladdin Sane

        Re: Council..

        I recently spent 19hrs and 18min running through the Chilterns. Very nice it was.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Council..

          "I recently spent 19hrs and 18min running through the Chilterns. Very nice it was."

          Is that how long it took the cops to catch you?

          1. Aladdin Sane

            Re: Council..

            I would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those pesky kids.

    3. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Council..

      Where I live they fix them quickly with 100% success rate. They just tick a checkbox on their job management database and it's done. Perfect success rate, and they have the digital record to prove it.

      1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Re: Council..

        That is truly advanced technology.

        Here in Edinburgh they do that with the sewer gutters.

        Some are so full with old garbage that plants are growing.

  7. Drew Scriver

    Maybe toss some seeds of fast-growing plants in the potholes? Something like the beanstalk from Jack's story. That ought to spur city councils into action. Delay by a week and BOOM - big plant/tree growing in the middle of the road.

    There are some towns that are legally liable for any damage caused by potholes that were reported more than a certain number of hours (48-72, usually) before an incident. Trouble is, those ordinances usually have to be approved by the very councils that lack the wherewithal to fix the potholes in the first place.

    I've also seen cities adopt a mobile app so people can report potholes quite easily. It'd be nice to see more initiatives like that.

    1. Caver_Dave

      Different budgets

      I live in a bankrupt UK county. Many of the country roads are only just wide enough for two cars to pass and so the lorries gouge holes in the edge of the road and grass verge, some axle deep for cars!

      If you have the evidence, access the correct process and badger the council for months, they do reimburse you for the replacement of burst tyres caused by potholes. Apparently, they can pay for that as it is a different budget to the empty road repair budget!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Different budgets

        They will reimburse you if that pothole was already reported for X days, in general.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I once got a pothole filled

    when I asked about buying the mineral rights to it.

  9. Tom Paine

    Portal to hell?

    Not far to go, considering he started in York

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Portal to hell?

      No, you’re thinking of Hull.

      Easy mistake to make. One is the blighted domain of the shambling, tormented damned, and... well, you know the punchline.

  10. JohnFen

    Where I lived

    In a major US city I used to live in, the pothole situation got so bad that it became common for people to just fill them up with dirt, gravel and whatnot themselves.

    The city's response? They started fining people caught doing this. They didn't start fixing potholes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where I lived

      > In a major US city I used to live in

      I thought you guys and gals that side of the pond had the 2nd Amendment to help ensure the authorities were doing what they should be doing.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Where I lived

        Not so much a pothole as a pitfall.

      2. JohnFen

        Re: Where I lived

        Although there's not any real consensus on what the 2nd amendment actually means, I think that the majority of people would agree that it isn't intended to be able to force the government to fix potholes.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Where I lived

      Where I lived... This issue is a City Manager call\decision\action or inaction. He has to get approval from The Little Rascals + The Three Stooges before sending in Abbot and Costello + Laurel and Hardy to botch the job.

      You can see how the whole process will start to seem futile.

  11. AJames

    Common in some countries

    In Brazil, where axle-breaking potholes make many side streets an obstacle course, it's common to stick palm fronds in the pothole to mark it for drivers. That's probably where the planter idea came from. :)

  12. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Almost funny but not.

    It's funny that they can spend hours and hours debating over what to do when for all the spent in meetings and for snacks during the meeting, they could have fixed the damned things.

  13. WolfFan Silver badge

    1st world problem

    Many years ago, while in Jamaica for about a week, I saw on local television an ad for a product which would allow customers to... patch the potholes themselves. Yes, things were so bad that not only were the equivalents of the local councils not fixing the roads, they'd given up, and given up so long ago and so obviously that someone saw a Business Opportunity(tm). See and (the Observer and the Gleaner are the two main daily newspapers in Jamaica) for how bad things really are. A banana plant (not a tree, trees are made of wood, banana plants have no wood in their structures) in a pothole ain't nothing. And, as can be seen in the pic with the Observer article, just one pothole at a time ain't nothing. And a HOA which dared to object to someone marking a pothole would quickly regret doing that.

    And for those who don't know Jamaican politics... Portia Simpson-Miller, mentioned in the Observer article, first came to fame in the late 1970s when her very first campaign to become a Member of Parliament got her elected. With 105% of the vote. No, that's not a misprint or a typo. She got One Hundred and Five Percent of the vote. (The guy running against her got 15%.) She continued 'winning' elections in the same way until she 'won' election as the leader of her party (the 'Democratic Socialist' People's National Party, the other guys being the somewhat right-wing Jamaica Labour Party, yes, a conservative labour party. Only in Jamaica. Until Tony B Liar borrowed some of the JLP's ideas, anyway.) and after a bit the PNP lost an election (finally!) and she retired. Perhaps Boris could look her up, he may need an election consultant fairly soon, and she's got plenty of time on her hands.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: 1st world problem

      I'm in for the "patch it yourself" product, what is it? I'd like to use it in my cycle lane... and places where a cycle lane could be but isn't. I've been told that one-tenth the weight does something like one-thousandth the damage, should it shouldn't take much. Though seeing the road, maybe there are some extremely heavy cyclists, it's not like I stop people and weigh them...

      "always leave the 'Men at Work' sign once you have completed work and everybody has gone home" - evidently someone finds the Jamaican concept, that work is taking place all the time between a project starting and being completed, unsatisfactory. And after the first week, it may be bothersome to see - but the signs aren't the problem and anyway you'd just have to have someone with the job of changing them over. I suppose you could have ones that flip, like the stop-go sign. It shouldn't be only "Men at Work" anyway, gender is complicated... the current British sign is substantially as designed before, I wouldn't say androgynous but its official title now is "Road works" even when probably the road doesn't work.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fill it with gravel

    And cover with roofing tar. It isn't a permanent fix, but some friends of mine who live on a dead end private road outside city limits and can't induce enough fellow residents to vote to pay someone to fix it used the materials they had on hand. Since the road almost never receives heavy truck traffic, it worked surprisingly well.

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: Fill it with gravel

      Well, that is a proper way of fixing it.

  15. Christoph

    I used to drive through the Socialist Republic of Islington once a month, back when they put all the council's money into important things like international politics rather than fixing the roads. I was able to avoid the enormous potholes as I could remember where they were - they had been there for years.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Covert roadway gardening

    I'm thinking a pickup truck "accidentally" spreading dirt or cow manure from it's bed followed by another pickup "accidentally" spreading wildflower seeds might have some interesting results. Maybe another pickup towing a water tank with a leaky valve for good measure.

  17. Cederic Silver badge

    There are stylish ways of doing this. Apologies for linking to the competition:

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