Post Code Lottery

Once again they are going to introduce a postcode system here.

I say ‘once again’ as this topic crops up fairly regularly.  They tried before and each time it was abandoned for various reasons.  Why is it that this time I smell the faint rank stench of Brussels hovering over this effort?

They have neatly reduced every “productive” member of the state to a number, so now that they have discovered that property too can be productive, that has to be reduced to a number as well.

They say it’s to facilitate essential services such as ambulances and fire brigades.  I say it’s to facilitate the cataloguing of their tax assets.

They say it’s going to cost the state €15 million.  I say you can double that for a start.  They don’t however mention the cost to hard pressed businesses?  They are going to have to reprint all their stationary and modify all their web sites. And why is it going to cost €2.5 million a year to “maintain”?  Once the system is in place it should be fixed for all time and should need no “maintenance”?  Do they have people “maintaining” the alphabet?  Do they have people “maintaining” the numerical system?

Of course, if this is introduced, it is going to cause massive confusion.  What happens if the code conflicts withe address?  Some postmen will be sensible and ignore the code, while others will try using the code and will get hopelessly lost.

I can’t wait to see what kind of mess they will make of it.  There is only one way to identify a location using a number and that is to use coordinates.  They can try using Latitude and Longitude or they can use Ordnance Survey grid references.  Either would be utterly meaningless to anyone unless they either had a full set of maps or a satellite navigational system.  So doubtless they’ll come up with a different system which will be useless to anyone.

Let the fun and games begin.

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Comments

Post Code Lottery — 24 Comments

  1. There is no need for all this address and zip(postal) code crap.  Just to test it I sent a Christmas card to a friend.  I addressed it,

    Little Bill and his family

    Uppa' top of town, beside his Dad's house

    Ashland, PA

    He received it with a note asking them to notify me of their address.

    :)

     

    • Heh, the only reason Little Bill received his Christmas card at all was that the post office and, more importantly, the postal carrier knew their area very well. Otherwise, Little Bill's Christmas card would have ended up in the dead letter bin. You're also talking about a town with a population of less than 3000. Small town indeed. :-)

      • We have had the same here – a letter addressed to name, townland and county.  Got here no bother!  It is all down to a postman's local knowledge.  If they try and create any non-intuitive kind of system, it's bound to fail

  2. Why do I think this isn't like our ZIP codes in the US which assigns a 5 digit code to specific areas in a state, like a city or county. This sounds more like they want to assign an alpha-numeric code to each individual address rather than the town/parish/county you live in. Kind of sounds like a combination of our ZIP codes, 911 emergency service and actual house address (house number-street name-town/city name and State) all mashed into one? Sounds like a mess to me.

    • There is no way they can individually number every house in the state.  Assuming a difference of .2 seconds of a degree of Latitude or Longitude between houses, that would mean each code would have to consist of 2 digits for degrees, 2 digits for minutes and 3 or 4 digits for seconds.  So a full Lat + Long figure would have to have a minimum of 16 digits!  And that is only two dimensional.  How do they distinguish between a basement and a penthouse in the same block of apartments?

      • Well, the US has been doing this for a long time now not that that means anything. But to explain, lat. and long. has nothing to do with home or business addresses here. Our addresses run like this for example:

        Personal home address

        Name of person(s)

        House #

        Name of street

        Name of city/town,  State abbreviation

        ZIP code (5 digit code for my so-called "city")

        So in my case (and if I lived in an apartment)…

        Kirk Blanchard

        100 Main St. Apt. 123

        Newport, VT

        05855 (area code for Newport City)

        For a business

        My Business

        100 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 7 ("Suite 7" being the # of my store front)

        Newport, VT

        05855

        Something similar to this could be implemented for Ireland with some modifications of course. You don't have States as we do but I believe you have counties? They would have to name all the streets and public roads (we had to do this when we instituted the 911 emergency system not all that long ago), number the houses and apartment buildings (with individual apartment numbers), businesses (and assign suite numbers to individual businesses within the same building) and then assign the equivalent of our ZIP codes to your cities, towns (depending on the size and population) and/or the counties if the area within those counties are sparsely populated.

        This is very doable since we had to do the very same thing here in the US and some of it rather recently for example, the final elimination of addresses based on the old Rural Route address system and the nation-wide "official" naming of roads for the 911 emergency call system. Of course, it would take an intelligent, logically thought out, well planned, concentrated effort on the part of your politicians of course, so it may not be possible after all.

        Hmmm, now that I think of it it's astonishing that the US managed to pull it off considering the deplorable amount of politicians we have, both village, town, city, State and Federal.

        And please excuse all typos. It's a long comment and I'm due at the store.

        • I remember reading up once about your Zip Codes [numbering runs from East Coast to West?].

          That is fine for identifying an area, and I know the UK post code drills down almost to street level, but there is no way they can come up with a simple svevn or eight digits to identify a house.

          The best logical way would be something along the lines of a two letter code for the county, with a three digit code for the townland and a three digit code for the road or street.  Even using that method you could find yourself half a mile or more from your destination!

          • Oh, I agree that what your government is proposing is even close to being feasible for just the reasons you stated. But shoving the whole thing into the bin and doing something like the US has done would be a whole lot easier, and accurate, in the long run. Probably not doable for various reasons but I'm sure it would have worked in the long run.

  3. In the UK we have a very simple postcode system using seven digits/numbers.  First two digits encode the town or city area – for instance WR means Worcester – think airline baggage labels.  Then two numbers define the general area such as Parish or local council.  A further single number subdivides this into smaller areas, such a streets, and the last two digits specify a small group of houses, typically around four or five.  By combining the house number with the postcode, our Post Office and many other carriers can easily find the right house.  If you don't have a house number, the name will still find you.

    Having once worked in the Post Office, I know that the Sorting Office has bins for each group of codes, and the postman simply takes his particular group (or "Round") and shuffles them into numerical order to minimise his amount of walking or driving.

    It's a great system, and the Post Office maintains a complete list of codes on the Net.  You can find any postcode very easily, and check where mail has originated.  Why not adopt our system?  Try looking at UK Google Earth and typing in a code.

    • The UK system is a good one and seems to work very well.  However, our shower are determined to bring in a system that is individual to each private or business post box which means a considerably more detailed system.  Even combining the UK code with house numbers would be very difficult as most rural houses don't have numbers.  Some, in fact don't even have names and rely on the postman knowing who lives where!

      • The Irish have thousands of years of history in being different from the rest of the World.  Only, before Rome took over your religion, you had sensible people in charge.

        Now you just have the Vatican Bank and mindless politicians.

    • You must live in a nice simple place BD, where the sorting office is in the town and county of your address. Maybe your phone exchange is the same too? Round here it's horrible because postcodes ignore all local government or county boundaries. Thus I live in Staffordshire but have a Crewe (cheshire) postcode and phone No. My father's house is in Cheshire but has a Stoke on Trent postcode and Crewe phone No. 30 years on it still causes chaos for deliveries, health, emergency services, council services etc some of whom use postcode boundaries while others like local government agencies use counties.I even had a row when registering a birth – postcode area or county? I dread to think how many hours of my life I have wasted explaining that yes I really do live in your area and you are my office  for…

      Good luck Grandad!

      • Lived in Tamworth for many years – until idiots destroyed it.  Town was in both Staffordshire and Warwickshire.  Now its in Birmingham.  I sympathise with you.

        And yes, good luck GD.  Postcodes can be used for regional taxation….

      • As a kid, I lived in an area like that – a boundary between Dublin postal areas, parishes and the rest.  It was also within yards of Dublin City / County boundary which added to the confusion.

        Nice and simple here.  Nowhere near any boundaries.  A nice simple, well defined small area in the  heart of Wickla.

  4. How about personalised post codes a la personalised number plates?  Here's the new one for The Dail:    W45T3R5  (wasters)

  5. I distinctly remember being told as a kid that if something ain't broke, it doesn't need fixing.

    I just know deep down in this seemingly hair brained shite lies a well thought out ulterior motive.

    • My thoughts precisely.  Isn't it amazing that they decide to resurrect this just when they start home taxes, septic tank charges and water tax?  Pure coincidence, of course.

  6. the posh people in Merseyside (Wirral) didnt like the L postcode so campaigned for years to have it changed to CH for Chester.  Everything else remained the same. Wankers.

  7. Stop sweating folks, its already been done -every address identified in 8 digits, its already available for Sat-nav's and some couriers are already using it. Really, its not rocket science and we will still have to rely on our omnipotent postmen and ladies to find homes for mail sent by idiots who will go to their graves refusing to use the new post codes. 

    Yay, welcome to the 21st  20th century. 

    http://www.myloc8ion.com/

     

     

     

    • This is the Loc8 thingy?  I remember that from some years ago.  If that works, then why are they spending a further €15 million on inventing a new one?  Or are they just going to buy the Loc8 company?

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