Monday, 3 September 2007

Ditching Yorkshire and adding Redcar and Cleveland will cause chaos for the Postal Service.

With regard to the Labour motion to delete Yorkshire from the postal address of Redcar and Cleveland Council and change it with Redcar and Cleveland. Here is confirmation that Royal Mail think the idea of using a unitary council name in the county part of the address is "nonsensical"

Below is a copy of an email to Peter Boyce Chairman of the Association of British Counties from Royal Mail's Address Management Centre at Portsmouth, dated 31st August 2007. The AMC is the authority on postal addresses. As experienced in the past, if you ring the local office you get the opinion of whoever you speak to, usually a telephone clerk who does not know the facts and is usually wrong.

Royal Mail's Automated Sorting System requires both the correct post town and correct postcode, otherwise a letter is rejected for manual sorting. In the Borough of Redcar & Cleveland there are four post towns. Redcar, Middlesbrough, Saltburn and Guisborough.

A letter addressed to someone in Saltburn, Middlesbrough or Guisborough with Redcar and Cleveland added will mean that two post towns appear on the address, causing it either to be misdirected or rejected for manual sorting.

A letter with Redcar, Redcar & Cleveland on the address is simply silly.

Re: Address Management

Thank you for your enquiry concerning the use of County information in a UK address.

I would like to confirm Royal Mail no longer require County information in a correct Postal Address providing the correct post town and full accurate postcode are included. Our customers are, however, free to include county information if they wish to do so.

In such circumstances, they may choose to use the former postal, traditional, or administrative county name with no detrimental effect on the service they receive. Royal Mail are not seeking to discourage the use of county information, but rather to provide our customers with a choice.

Former Postal County

Former Postal County information is what was used by Royal Mail, prior to the full use of Postcodes to identify between similar and same sounding place names. The information was taken from what was the Administrative county at the time, and has not been updated.

Traditional County

Traditional County information is provided by the Association of British Counties (ABC) and is historical data, backdating to the 1800's.

Administrative County

Administrative County data is provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This information is not static data, the county boundaries may change due to administrative changes.

In some circumstances it would be nonsensical for use in an address. For example, the administrative county name for Portsmouth would be Portsmouth, and for Southampton would be Southampton.

Royal Mail has not provided county information on PAF based products and services since December 2000.

The exception to this being the Royal Mail UK Addresses products and the Alias File, whereby all three county names are supplied and the user would have to make a selection from the above three county names if required. The Alias File is an 'add-on' data set which would be purchased in addition to a full PAF Data product, and again all three county names are supplied and the end user will need to make a

The PAF is intended primarily to meet the requirements of Royal Mails own distribution system. Whilst Royal Mail provide Postcode and Address data to third party users as a source of information we have no control over the manner in which it is used.


Customer Support

Royal Mail, Address Management Unit, 4th Floor, Royal Mail, Slindon
(0845 606 6854 (option 2) or postline (Royal Mail only) 5258 2778

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