[Talk-GB] UK street addressing

Tim Saunders tim_s_63 at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 28 09:16:56 UTC 2020

I've been following the debate on UK street addressing with interest, given I am a recently retired Royal Mail employee...

Whatever people might think about Royal Mail as a company, the fact is that it is (uniquely) regulated and licenced by OfCom to provide the postal universal service obligation in the UK, so as long as that remains the case it is not "just one of many" parcel operators.

However, the more relevant point to OSM is that surely there are many different ways of addressing and therefore context is all.  Postal addresses and post codes are one example, but administrative, electoral, lat/lon (with your projection of choice), What Three Words, etc. are all valid depending on why someone is asking the question and who you ask.  I don't think it realistic that OSM can (or needs to) become the defining source of one true address.  However, I would advocate that it should become a means of locating or identifying addresses through any one of a number of methods (as long as the licencing allows this of course).   This should include a tag showing the Post Town (or being able to deduce the Post Town by reference to boundaries) because, if you ask someone their address, they may give you their postal address (without a postcode) so that is what you would want to search for.    


Tim S

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