Royal Mail abolished its nonsensical 'Postal Counties' years ago, but now there's a new menace: Unitary Authorities - These are NOT part of your address...
Following the 1972 Local Government Act which established new 'administrative counties' from April 1974, Royal Mail jumped on the county-chaos bandwagon and introduced its own 'postal counties' in July of that year.
Their use was discontinued in 1996 and under Royal Mail’s Flexible Addressing Policy traditional county names could be used in any UK postal address. In reality the long defunct postal counties continued to be used thanks to outdated Postal Address File data still being used by companies reluctant to pay for the latest updated file.
In 2014 the regulator Postcomm advised county information be dropped altogether from the PAF.
Following all this, rather than the gradual reintroduction of the traditional counties into addressing as you might expect, it has become standard and quite an incorrect practice to include the newly established unitary authority name into addresses. For example, North East Lincolnshire, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire...
This is absolute nonsense, why would you include the name of the local council in your address, created 20 years ago to empty the bins, when you could and should be including the real county which has existed for a millennium, is static and never changes?
The postcode the essential element of an address, so why is it necessary in some cases to use the name of a town or city that lies in a neighbouring county as part of your Post Office approved address? This fundamental change in policy to include the actual village, town or city and the correct traditional county in an address will help restore the understanding and awareness of the counties, and rebuild our identity, failure to do so and removing the need for county information is simply cultural vandalism.
Use the interactive map or Gazetteer to search your location, use your real county name in your address and insist any mail sent to you includes it too.
Search your location in the Gazetteer of British Place Names.
Find which of the 92 traditional counties you actually live in.
2 thoughts on “Are you properly addressed?”
Yes the county postal address business was a nonsense. The post code does the job. And people are entitled to make a statement by writing their proper county in an address if they wish e.g. West Riding of Yorkshire, North Riding , East Riding.
I would like to see postcodes county compliant.