[Talk-GB] UK street addressing

Chris Hill osm at raggedred.net
Mon Dec 21 16:16:50 UTC 2020

On 21/12/2020 15:59, Adam Snape wrote:
> Hi,
> Post towns may be somewhat arbitrary, but they are at least a 
> verifiable national scheme which we can use for addressing every 
> location in the country. That has to have some benefits compared to 
> each individual mapper deciding where they believe each address fallsĀ  
> - easy for many places, likely contentious for others. The other 
> consistent scheme we could use is tagging by local authority but 
> that's likely to annoy just as many people.
How are they verifiable? There is no open source that is compatible with 
the OSM licence that I am aware of that lets us look up an address. If I 
walk down a street, recording house numbers / names I know the number, 
street name and the place I am in, I have no idea what RM choose as the 
postal town. There are no name boards to see.
> I also disagree with the assertion that post towns are no longer used 
> or only of use to RM. Whilst a street address and postcode should 
> suffice, there is an expectation that post is fully addressed. By 
> including the full address, post can still arrive at the correct 
> address despite an obscured, incorrect or illegible postcode. The 
> advantage of a consistent national scheme of addressing is as useful 
> to other couriers in this regard as it is to RM. If you should use 
> parcel labels supplied by the couriers I have usually found them to 
> follow RM's addressing scheme including the relevant post town.
Royal mail deliver by house number / name and street name. Ask a postie 
- I have and they confirm that. The sorting above that (to divide into 
rounds) goes by postcode. Latters without postcodes are delayed, even RM 
say that in a round about way.

Other organisations use the RM address lists because that is the only 
way to get addresses in the UK. They buy the PAF from Royal Mail then 
adapt it as needed in their own system. They include the bunkum that RM 
publish just because it is there. Postal towns were ALL about directing 
post in bulk to Royal Mail sorting offices where ever they happened to 
be and as postcodes because more established, postal town stopped being 
useful. Most sorting office have been consolidated or closed, yet the 
postal town part of the PAF has not changed - because it is no longer 
useful. RM just can't be bothered to clean up useless data in the same 
way they left the old counties in the PAF.


Chris Hill (chillly)

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