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Eircode design

  • 11-06-2016 9:52am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 153 ✭✭ PDVerse


    Hello folks. If anyone has a question about any aspect of Eircode design I'm happy to answer.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,692 ✭✭✭ plodder


    PDVerse wrote: »
    Hello folks. If anyone has a question about any aspect of Eircode design I'm happy to answer.
    Here's a few to start.

    1. Why doesn't Eircode have a hierarchical structure?

    2. Why are the routing key areas so different in size? They vary from populations in the hundreds to tens of thousands?

    3. What do you think of the idea of rectifying some of the problems with a free dataset that contains each eircode and the small area code for each?


  • Registered Users Posts: 153 ✭✭ PDVerse


    Q1. Why doesn't Eircode have a hierarchical structure?
    We assessed the pros and cons of existing postcode systems. One consistent negative was use of the postcode hierarchy to determine insurance premiums, school catchment boundaries, property prices etc. The practise is inefficient, a building level postcode should use appropriate boundaries (flood maps, etc.) rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. The practise is also unfair, e.g. a property a the top of a hill may be grouped for postal delivery reasons with a property at the bottom of a hill near a river. Their flood risk profiles however are very different. We looked at examples where a change in postcode boundaries moved residents from one school catchment area to another.

    Postcode boundaries change continuously, which has a knock-on cost for maintenance for users.
    Postcode boundaries would have to be agreed before launch. In my view we would still be waiting for that sign-off.

    There are lots of other reasons. The design of the unique identifier was created in our tender response, before An Post were consulted post-tender. DCENR did not specify hierarchy or non-hierarchy in the tender, it was our design decision. The funding model was not a factor in the design.


    Q2. Why are the routing key areas so different in size? They vary from populations in the hundreds to tens of thousands?
    A2. The routing keys reflect 139 Principal Post Towns, chosen by An Post from their approximately 2,000 Post Towns, that suit An Post manual sortation requirements in a future proofed manner. The first letter of a routing key reflects a grouping requirement of An Post, and the order of the two numbers is also a sorting requirement.

    Q3. What do you think of the idea of rectifying some of the problems with a free dataset that contains each eircode and the small area code for each?
    A3: Small Areas Codes have been part of the design of the Eircode Database since 2012. A single seat license for the entire database is €180 + VAT per annum. A single seat of the ECAF is €60 per annum, which only contains the Postal Address and Eircode. It is up to Eircode to decide on new products and pricing. Like most VARs we will champion free datasets, but this is out of self-interest as it means more of our customers budget is available to be spent on our services. There is of course no such thing as free, just alternative funding models.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,692 ✭✭✭ plodder


    PDVerse wrote: »
    Q1. Why doesn't Eircode have a hierarchical structure?
    We assessed the pros and cons of existing postcode systems. One consistent negative was use of the postcode hierarchy to determine insurance premiums, school catchment boundaries, property prices etc. The practise is inefficient, a building level postcode should use appropriate boundaries (flood maps, etc.) rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. The practise is also unfair, e.g. a property a the top of a hill may be grouped for postal delivery reasons with a property at the bottom of a hill near a river. Their flood risk profiles however are very different. We looked at examples where a change in postcode boundaries moved residents from one school catchment area to another.
    Two points in response to that:

    1) The assessment above should not have been made by the design team. It wasn't really your place to decide whether school catchment areas, insurance premiums etc should be potentially publicly visible from a postcode. These are important public policy questions, and arguably, the postcode board which operated before Eircode, came to different conclusions on these questions. I also believe that the public should have been consulted on this basic question.

    2) Eircode could have been designed exactly as it is now, but with some hierarchy based on small areas, that would have been useful for sorting/grouping deliveries. But, nobody is saying this structure had to be applied for other purposes like insurance risk, school catchment. In other words, adding a level of structure to the code does not in any way impede its intended use today. So, insurance companies can still assess flood risk whatever way they are supposed to do it today. Just think of the public structure as a default structure that is used for simple/unsophisticated applications (like the ad-hoc parents group trying to get a new school, mentioned on previous pages, )
    Postcode boundaries change continuously, which has a knock-on cost for maintenance for users.
    Postcode boundaries would have to be agreed before launch. In my view we would still be waiting for that sign-off.
    I suspect that was the main reason, basically convenience for the designers and avoiding what might have been something controversial (postcode snobbery etc)
    There are lots of other reasons. The design of the unique identifier was created in our tender response, before An Post were consulted post-tender. DCENR did not specify hierarchy or non-hierarchy in the tender, it was our design decision. The funding model was not a factor in the design.

    Q2. Why are the routing key areas so different in size? They vary from populations in the hundreds to tens of thousands?
    A2. The routing keys reflect 139 Principal Post Towns, chosen by An Post from their approximately 2,000 Post Towns, that suit An Post manual sortation requirements in a future proofed manner. The first letter of a routing key reflects a grouping requirement of An Post, and the order of the two numbers is also a sorting requirement.
    Again the postcode board recommended a neutral design that wasn't tied to An Post's infrastructure. A side effect is that this rendered the routing key more or less useless as a public identifier. It was a mistake in my opinion to tie the design to An Post's delivery network
    Q3. What do you think of the idea of rectifying some of the problems with a free dataset that contains each eircode and the small area code for each?
    A3: Small Areas Codes have been part of the design of the Eircode Database since 2012. A single seat license for the entire database is €180 + VAT per annum. A single seat of the ECAF is €60 per annum, which only contains the Postal Address and Eircode. It is up to Eircode to decide on new products and pricing. Like most VARs we will champion free datasets, but this is out of self-interest as it means more of our customers budget is available to be spent on our services. There is of course no such thing as free, just alternative funding models.
    The point is that any cost deters some classes of use (like the one mentioned above) and it's my contention that due to Eircode's unusual hidden design, the kind of information that people can extract for free from other countries postcodes should be made available for free in Eircode. It's basic fairness. On the funding model, there's really nothing all that unusual nowadays with basic datasets being free, and more advanced premium ones being paid for. That's how it works with the UK postcode. My view is that the organisations that have already licensed ECAD or ECAF will continue to do so, and it is more likely that voluntary and other type of organisations that never would license them, will make use of the free product.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,084 ukoda


    "Let the insurance companies asses risk whatever way they're supposed to"?

    Do you not get that they can do what they want, giving them a heirarchical code would enable them to use it indiscriminately which was what it looks like they wanted to avoid. I.e. Not enable them to act unfairly


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,692 ✭✭✭ plodder


    ukoda wrote: »
    "Let the insurance companies asses risk whatever way they're supposed to"?

    Do you not get that they can do what they want, giving them a heirarchical code would enable them to use it indiscriminately which was what it looks like they wanted to avoid. I.e. Not enable them to act unfairly
    How do you stop them using the small area code in ECAD, which was most definitely not designed for insurance? You can't. The only difference between a public postcode and what we got in this respect, is that the public can't see what might be going on with eircode.

    I don't accept that insurance companies would necessarily do this anyway. If small area codes aren't a good basis for flood risk (which they aren't) then insurers won't use them.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,084 ukoda


    plodder wrote: »
    How do you stop them using the small area code in ECAD, which was most definitely not designed for insurance? You can't. The only difference between a public postcode and what we got in this respect, is that the public can't see what might be going on with eircode.

    I don't accept that insurance companies would necessarily do this anyway. If small area codes aren't a good basis for flood risk (which they aren't) then insurers won't use them.

    The point the poster made is that a public postcode that's heirarchical, I.e. Like the uk one, causes issues like this, if its public then it causes issues, another example of it is house prices, simply being in a postcode could unfairly inflate or deflate a properties price, with eircode that can't really happen, as the public have no clue what a "good" code is, with maybe the exception of Dublin which was already an issue. Introducing a level of heirarchy could prompt the insurer to be lazy and deem the whole area high risk

    Anyway, it's best you wait for the other poster to respond as it appears they actually designed the code so can answer better than me

    On the insurance one, I assume the issue would have been that the insurer would have grouped the houses and labelled all at risk in 1 area, regardless of location in that area, with eircode they can actually see the exact location of the house on a map


  • Registered Users Posts: 153 ✭✭ PDVerse


    The logic is as follows: If there is a hierarchy in the code then it can be used without reference to the Eircode Database. If it can be used, it will be used, especially if this is standard practise in an industry in other jurisdictions. If you have to look-up the Small Area Code in the ECAD then you might as well look-up the building coordinates and look-up the relevant dataset (e.g. Flood map).

    I'm not here to convince anyone, everyone is perfectly entitled to their own opinion.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,692 ✭✭✭ plodder


    PDVerse wrote: »
    The logic is as follows: If there is a hierarchy in the code then it can be used without reference to the Eircode Database.
    Correct, and there is nothing wrong with that. At the very least objectively it means that organisations in Ireland are paying for access to data that is free in most if not all other countries.

    The analogy I keep using is as if An Post were to assign random house numbers in housing estates rather than sequential ones and expect people to license a map to see the actual locations. They might say the same thing you said above 'Sequential numbering "can be used without reference to our proprietary database"'.
    If it can be used, it will be used, especially if this is standard practise in an industry in other jurisdictions. If you have to look-up the Small Area Code in the ECAD then you might as well look-up the building coordinates and look-up the relevant dataset (e.g. Flood map).
    For the flood risk case, I don't think it would be used. Small areas are really not that small in the country-side and only to a very limited extent would there be a correlation for flood risk within the same small area. Sure, an insurer could use it, but another insurer that uses a more intelligent approach would end being more profitable in the long run.

    For burglary risk, I think small areas could be quite useful, particularly in urban areas where they are quite small.
    So, why shouldn't they use them? They would not be optimal of course and I still think that the best companies will develop their own intelligence down to a finer level of detail again.
    I'm not here to convince anyone, everyone is perfectly entitled to their own opinion.


  • Registered Users Posts: 153 ✭✭ PDVerse


    Plodder, I think we are pretty much in agreement, we're just opposite sides of the same coin. Your enthusiasm for using the "free" part of the hierarchical code is what we anticipated, based on our experience providing location intelligence solutions in a wide range of industries. You think it would be a good thing, we think it is a bad thing, for the reasons we've outlined. The data cost is inconsequential but does affect decision making, but generally what we encounter is "We could just do that [sounds simple thing], rather than having to do that [sounds more complicated thing]" from a PM, BA or Developer.

    Small Areas are great, and we use them in the majority of our solutions for customers. But we only use them when appropriate, and yes we have been asked to provide flood scores, etc. at Small Area Level. Our overriding concern was for the citizen, we didn't want them to be treated unfairly when we believed it was unnecessary. We also wanted Businesses to gain maximum benefit by making optimum use of the capabilities afforded by the postcode design.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 148 ✭✭ clewbays


    Why were the routing keys designed for an organisation that has no interest in using them (apart from for temporary staff routing Christmas cards) when a combination of Dublin postal districts, some separation of Dublin county, and county codes (numeric or based on Irish names if needs must) would have been more readily understandable and not subject to change over time? It is farcical that we have routing keys that cross county boundaries and that have not been defined on the ground. So a new address that lies close to a mythical routing key boundary will be arbitrarily assigned to one of the routing keys by An Post as there is no geography of the routing keys.

    Are there any take-up achievement targets in the contract?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 881 ✭✭✭ Bray Head


    PDVerse wrote: »
    The logic is as follows: If there is a hierarchy in the code then it can be used without reference to the Eircode Database. If it can be used, it will be used, especially if this is standard practise in an industry in other jurisdictions. If you have to look-up the Small Area Code in the ECAD then you might as well look-up the building coordinates and look-up the relevant dataset (e.g. Flood map).
    Thanks for this PDVerse and for the rest.

    This is quite a sensible point and I had not heard it made before.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,432 ✭✭✭ sondagefaux


    Every local road in every townland should be given a name or number, and every house should have a distance based number measured from one end of the road. Result would be end of non-unique addresses.

    How much would this cost? How long would it take to implement? And what level of public resistance and/or acceptance do you anticipate?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,432 ✭✭✭ sondagefaux


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]Mrs Joan Carson UUP [/font]
    [font=Times New Roman, serif]I commend the Members for bringing forward this motion, because the issue of townland names has always been dear to my heart. Townland names have been passed down from early days and are a wonderful store of information that is in danger of being totally lost. That is mainly due to the renaming of our roads willy-nilly by some desk-bound people, without thought or consideration for local opinions.[/font]

    [font=Times New Roman, serif]I have always welcomed the stance taken by Fermanagh District Council, and I wish that other councils in Northern Ireland would follow by retaining townland names. In the Tyrone area, where I live, we have a proliferation of the same names applied to roads leading to and from the village of Moy.[/font]

    [font=Times New Roman, serif]All of those roads are called Moy Road. There is a Moy Road in Portadown; a Moy Road in Moy; a Moy Road in Armagh; and a Moy Road in Dungannon. You can imagine the confusion that that leads to. The new designation was supposed to help, but instead it has led to great confusion, so most people began to use the townland names again.[/font]

    [font=Times New Roman, serif]I live on one of those Moy Roads and I find my mail going hither and thither along another Moy Road. I, in turn, was receiving mail intended for those who lived at the same house number on another Moy Road. I solved my problem by adding the townland name to my address. Thankfully, since then, there have been no more problems. I encourage people who are experiencing similar problems to start using the townland names again.[/font]

    [font=Times New Roman, serif]I will go back into the mists of time not quite as far as the origin of townlands to when I was a teacher. When my pupils and I undertook projects on the school s area, I always encouraged the children to start their information searches by using the townland name. Much to my amusement, we always found that the townland name would have the same description as the original town. I remember having great amusement when I was teaching in a school called Annaghmore Primary School. When the children were starting their project I asked which of them had a big, mossy, springy field at the back of their house that they could jump up and down on. The pupils would say "Please Miss, have you been to our house?" I told them that I knew that information from the townland name, Annaghmore "the big bog".[/font]


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]I encourage all of our Departments, the councils and, in particular, the public, to use townland names. Townland names must be retained or we will lose much of our wonderful and picturesque heritage. I welcome the motion and have great pleasure in supporting it.[/font]


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,432 ✭✭✭ sondagefaux


    New signs mark ancient townlands


    By Freya McClements
    BBC News





    [font=Times New Roman, serif]Nearly 40 years after townlands were phased out in favour of postcodes, the traditional names are making a comeback in some parts of Northern Ireland.[/font]

    [font=Times New Roman, serif]Derry City Council is to erect 900 new road signs marking its rural townlands.[/font]

    [font=Times New Roman, serif]The signs will acknowledge some areas which have long been without an official marker.[/font]

    [font=Times New Roman, serif]The first signs - for Tullintrain - have already gone up at the junction of the Learmount and Longland Roads near Claudy in County Londonderry.[/font]

    [font=Times New Roman, serif]The scheme - which will be implemented over the next year - is expected to cost 120,000.[/font]

    [font=Times New Roman, serif]The signs will be placed at junctions, with the townland names taken from Ordnance Survey maps.[/font]

    [font=Times New Roman, serif]Other townlands which will be recognised by the new signs include Altahullion, Goshaden, and Stranagalwilly.[/font]

    [font=Times New Roman, serif]SDLP rural councillor Thomas Conway has been campaigning for the introduction of such signs for almost 10 years.[/font]

    [font=Times New Roman, serif]"When you ask people around here where they live, they automatically say the name of their townland," he said.[/font]

    [font=Times New Roman, serif]"A postcode is only a number, but your townland not only shows where you are from, but where your family were from for generations before you.[/font]

    [font=Times New Roman, serif]"It's a marker of identity, and it's important that we have a visible expression of that so we can pass it on to our children," said Mr Conway.[/font]


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,432 ✭✭✭ sondagefaux


    [font=Helmet, Freesans, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Fermanagh townland confusion being addressed[/font]
    [font=Helmet, Freesans, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]By Julian Fowler[/font][font=Helmet, Freesans, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]BBC News[/font]

    Fifteen thousand rural properties in County Fermanagh are to be given a new address which will be recognised on computer databases for the first time, ending years of confusion and frustration for residents.


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]The local council has identified every property with a number and road name, along with a townland, giving everyone in the county an official address.[/font]


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]Over the years an unofficial rural address system has evolved in Fermanagh which has resulted in many people having difficulty with mail delivery, credit checks and obtaining goods and services such as mobile phones and car hire.[/font]


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]Concern that a new system would lead to the dropping of traditional townland names has meant local councillors have been [/font]arguing over a new official address system since 1986.


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]On Monday, the council will begin the process of informing residents of their new address, which will include a property number, road name and a townland.[/font]


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]Brendan Hegarty, chief executive of Fermanagh District Council, said: "On some occasions there have been problems with the emergency services actually finding the property and that obviously is a major concern."[/font]


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]Databases[/font]
    [font=Times New Roman, serif]He said the unofficial system was not available in databases which meant government agencies and other service providers did not recognise many rural addresses.[/font]


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]Florist Clare Forde lives near Lisnaskea and currently has four unofficial addresses for her home.[/font]


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]"Derryree is the townland, we're also on the Brookeborough Road, we get Gortacharn and we also get Derryhurdin."[/font]


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]While her local postman has no problem finding her, she does have difficulties with other deliveries.[/font]


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]"Anything bank-related, anything mail order related, you do quite often get problems because they can't decide where you live, so they think you don't exist."[/font]


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]Properties which have not had a road number often get a DP number in online databases which stands for delivery point, but this can refer to multiple addresses across a wide area.[/font]


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]Clare's business partner Anthony Benson is responsible for delivering flowers from their shop in Irvinestown and he says the current system can be a real headache.[/font]


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]"You're basically relying on people to give you directions, second road on the right, first lane on the left and so forth," he said,[/font]


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]"If you did a delivery maybe four or five miles out the road and you've just been given a very vague address it could take you 45 minutes."[/font]


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]It will take time for the new system to be fully implemented, but the council is urging people to start using their official address immediately.[/font]


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]It will also end the anomaly of several hundred homes in Cooneen near Brookeborough which have a County Tyrone postal address despite being in Fermanagh.[/font]


    [font=Times New Roman, serif]The council is sending out letters to properties affected by the change which will include an aerial photograph highlighting their property, along with their old unofficial address if known, and the new address.[/font]


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,432 ✭✭✭ sondagefaux


    I can't provide links for the preceding three posts, but you can google the headlines or some of the text to find them.

    They all show that using house numbers and road names in Northern Ireland in combination with non-unique postcodes has either not resolved problems with mail going to the wrong address (e.g. the Moy Road problem), has taken decades to implement fully (postcodes were introduced to Northern Ireland in the 1970s - house numbers and road names were only introduced to Co. Fermanagh in 2013!), and has met with public resistance over concerns that a central part of Ireland's heritage, townland names, is being done away with, leading to councils responding by spending yet more money on resurrecting townland names on road signs in rural areas.

    How should the tens of thousands of un-named roads in rural Ireland be given names? This is how it's been done in some parts of Northern Ireland.

    No doubt a process of public consultation about naming tens of thousands of un-named rural roads in the rest of Ireland would proceed completely smoothly and without rancour or resistance whatsoever!

    From Newry & Mourne District Council Un-named Roads Project page.
    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Background Information[/font]
    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The function of postal numbering and naming was transferred from the Post Office (now Royal Mail) to local Councils and postcodes were introduced into Northern Ireland in the early 1970 s. The Council inherited from the Post Office the historical road names, in which the roads where occupied.[/font]
    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Licensing Section of Newry and Mourne District Council have identified approximately 75 un-named roads in the District. As a result there is a requirement for new address allocations and the re-alignment of existing addresses.[/font]


    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]What are the benefits of new address allocations and the re-alignment of existing addresses?[/font]
    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Due to roads not being officially named, this causes problems for the Emergency Services when trying to locate roads and/or properties. By having official road names and numbers displayed, this can help to save lives of the residents in rural areas and increase emergency response times, thus making a significant contribution to the health and well-being of the community.[/font]
    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Having regard to the impact on the Emergency Services, along with an increase in general enquiries from the public and businesses about postal addresses, the Licensing section have commenced the process to name these un-named roads.[/font]

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]As a resident, will I have the opportunity to have a say in the naming of the road I live on?[/font]
    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The residents of the un-named roads will have the opportunity to have an input into the naming of their road in order to maintain the rich cultural heritage of the Newry and Mourne District Council area, and to reflect local townland names, local geographical features or historical features. To assist with this, the licensing section intends to survey all appropriate residents.[/font]

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Once the roads have been officially named the Council will erect street nameplates on all the roads. The Council will then inform the residents and statutory bodies of the new address allocations and the re-alignment of existing addresses e.g. Royal Mail, Northern Ireland Electricity, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, Police Service of Northern Ireland and Ambulance Service, etc[/font]

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]When the Licensing Section has completed the project, each named road will have its own unique postcode and each premises in the District will have a recognisable address. This will assist the Emergency services, Royal Mail and it is important in today s society with the increase in internet shopping and home deliveries.[/font]

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Is my postal address one of the affected addresses?[/font]

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]To find out if your postal address is one of the affected addresses, please see the maps of un-named roads in each of the 5 electoral areas;[/font]


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,073 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    How much would this cost? How long would it take to implement? And what level of public resistance and/or acceptance do you anticipate?

    Naming roads would cost little if it was done at community level. Tidy Towns is a successful initiative that has been successful over the decades and does not carry a huge cost burden. It would be ideal to involve local schools as there is much local history in place names and it would be a great opportunity to get local children to be enthusiastic about it.

    Time to implement? Well that depends on how much enthusiasm is generated. The Tidy Towns idea could have been considered daft at the time but it was not and has generated much pride in the communities involved. Perhaps naming their local streets could be an extension of this. I suspect many of these roads already have local names.

    Resistance? Why would there be resistance to a local initiative except from the usual begrudgers? There are procedures at local government for plebiscites on these matters. As a last resort, these roads could be given numbers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,084 ukoda


    Naming roads would cost little if it was done at community level. Tidy Towns is a successful initiative that has been successful over the decades and does not carry a huge cost burden. It would be ideal to involve local schools as there is much local history in place names and it would be a great opportunity to get local children to be enthusiastic about it.

    Time to implement? Well that depends on how much enthusiasm is generated. The Tidy Towns idea could have been considered daft at the time but it was not and has generated much pride in the communities involved. Perhaps naming their local streets could be an extension of this. I suspect many of these roads already have local names.

    Resistance? Why would there be resistance to a local initiative except from the usual begrudgers? There are procedures at local government for plebiscites on these matters. As a last resort, these roads could be given numbers.


    I would agree that roads should be named. But I also agree that it would take a long time.

    The tidy towns started with about 50 towns and now has about 700, so it's a very far cry from complete coverage of towns and other initiatives would suffer the same relitively low take up. It took 50 years for tidy towns to get up to 700 entrants.

    It would have to be organised at a national level to ensure consistency across the nation or we'd end up with whatever signs each town wanted themselves.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,073 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    ukoda wrote: »
    I would agree that roads should be named. But I also agree that it would take a long time.

    The tidy towns started with about 50 towns and now has about 700, so it's a very far cry from complete coverage of towns and other initiatives would suffer the same relitively low take up.

    It would have to be organised at a national level to ensure consistency across the nation or we'd end up with whatever signs each town wanted themselves.

    The whole operation would have to be co-ordinated by the local county councils through their planning departments. If it was started in a few local areas, it could take off. It might take a decade to complete or could be done in much less time if it caught the national imagination. How long did the 'Willd Atlantic Way' take? - but then there was tourist money in it.

    The signs are a matter for each CC with the Dept of the Environment guiding the project.


  • Registered Users Posts: 153 ✭✭ PDVerse


    Eircode is a postcode design. An Post has a Universal Service Obligation, unlike other organisations that compete with it. Every postcode design suits the USP for this reason. An Post has very specific sorting requirements, based on its Post Town delivery model, which ignores County boundaries as it would be inefficient to do otherwise. The Routing Key design allows An Post to manually sort post as efficiently as possible into slots in a sorting frame, one label per slot.

    The inclusion of Administrative Areas from Ordnance Survey (County, Electoral Division, Small Areas) in the ECAD allows anyone to use this information to build territories as they see fit, and they can label these areas as they wish rather than a compromised one-size-fits-all approach.

    I won't comment on any contractual arrangement between Eircode and DCENR.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,084 ukoda


    The whole operation would have to be co-ordinated by the local county councils through their planning departments. If it was started in a few local areas, it could take off. It might take a decade to complete or could be done in much less time if it caught the national imagination. How long did the 'Willd Atlantic Way' take? - but then there was tourist money in it.

    The signs are a matter for each CC with the Dept of the Environment guiding the project.


    Each CC has a mandate to label it's roads but they claim lack of budget to do it.

    Naming roads would not capture the locals attention, they grew up with the local knowledge and "it's the house after Jimmys barn down past the graveyard". Labelling roads could be seen as "notions" driven from the city folk.

    Any roads money goes towards fixing the potholes first. Anyone trying to put a fancy new sign on a road in sh1t from potholes will be run out of town.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,692 ✭✭✭ plodder


    PDVerse wrote: »
    Eircode is a postcode design. An Post has a Universal Service Obligation, unlike other organisations that compete with it. Every postcode design suits the USP for this reason. An Post has very specific sorting requirements, based on its Post Town delivery model, which ignores County boundaries as it would be inefficient to do otherwise. The Routing Key design allows An Post to manually sort post as efficiently as possible into slots in a sorting frame, one label per slot.

    The inclusion of Administrative Areas from Ordnance Survey (County, Electoral Division, Small Areas) in the ECAD allows anyone to use this information to build territories as they see fit, and they can label these areas as they wish rather than a compromised one-size-fits-all approach.

    I won't comment on any contractual arrangement between Eircode and DCENR.
    Most countries postcodes are decades old and were designed when there was no competition in postal delivery. So, it made sense to follow the USP's model. It was probably designed by them anyway.

    None of that applies today. Our postcode was supposed to facilitate competition. An Post didn't want a postcode as they achieve over 95% next day delivery without one. Our postcode was supposed to be operator neutral.

    In fairness to the designers, this was a problem that should have been resolved at a higher (political) level - how to get An Post on board while still designing a neutral code.

    On the details of An Post's own sorting/delivery network, you can expect that it wouldn't observe county boundaries, but the enormous disparity in size is not so easily explainable. Populations as few as maybe 500 people versus easily 50,000+ in the bigger ones in the West. That completely hampers the recognition of postcodes in the west of the country outside of the Eircode licensed products.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,692 ✭✭✭ plodder


    In some parts of the country they are labeling local roads, with L123456 type codes. Even "roads" as small as basically a shared driveway are getting them. It struck me that there was a sum of money made available to do this, and they did in the least controversial way possible, but without much regard to how useful they will be. Road names would have been much more useful, though clearly more work would be needed with public consultation, yada yada.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,692 ✭✭✭ plodder


    Resistance? Why would there be resistance to a local initiative except from the usual begrudgers? There are procedures at local government for plebiscites on these matters.
    The idea of asking the public is fraught with danger and risk for some. It just doesn't come naturally at all to those who know best.

    If it was setup right it would actually be very successful.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,073 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    plodder wrote: »
    The idea of asking the public is fraught with danger and risk for some. It just doesn't come naturally at all to those who know best.

    If it was setup right it would actually be very successful.

    I am always surprised by the normal negative attitude displayed by many people. 'Glass half full' is trumped by 'Glass is nearly empty' even though it is half full or half empty.

    Look at the success of the 'Young Scientist' or the uptake of 'Transition Year' and how much this has been a force for good in this country. The future of this country should be in the hands of the young and they could and would take up such a project with enthusiasm. Imagine if they were given the project of finding the local history and coming up with appropriate names for their local roads.

    I cannot believe this would not capture the enthusiasm and imagination of those involved. It is not all about money and budgets. To quote a well known rugby player near the end of a particular game where we trailed by a few points in the last few minutes - 'Where is your ******* pride?' We won the game.


  • Administrators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,604 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ oscarBravo


    It's amazing how easy it would be to implement something when you're not the one who has to implement it.

    "Adding names to every road and numbers to every house in the country would be easy." Oh yeah? Go do it, so.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,692 ✭✭✭ plodder


    I am always surprised by the normal negative attitude displayed by many people. 'Glass half full' is trumped by 'Glass is nearly empty' even though it is half full or half empty.

    Look at the success of the 'Young Scientist' or the uptake of 'Transition Year' and how much this has been a force for good in this country. The future of this country should be in the hands of the young and they could and would take up such a project with enthusiasm. Imagine if they were given the project of finding the local history and coming up with appropriate names for their local roads.

    I cannot believe this would not capture the enthusiasm and imagination of those involved. It is not all about money and budgets. To quote a well known rugby player near the end of a particular game where we trailed by a few points in the last few minutes - 'Where is your ******* pride?' We won the game.
    Simple plebiscites like this would be easy to set up, and it has to be said Eircode would make the job easier. You send out a PIN to each eircode in an area and you login to a voting page using your eircode and PIN. Each household gets one vote. The same PIN could be used for multiple votes on different questions (not too controversial, as this is not e-voting). People could send in ideas for names, and the councillors could shortlist them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,432 ✭✭✭ sondagefaux


    Sorry lads, but ye're not being realistic now. For starters, there are no longer any non-unique postal addresses in Ireland so there's no need for house numbers and road names in rural areas.

    Secondly, it's an established fact that people concerned with Ireland's unique heritage of townland names (or 'begrudgers' as ye've called them) have resisted the implementation of house numbers and road names in Northern Ireland for decades, and not just from the nationalist community. Unionists and their elected representatives have also campaigned on this issue.

    Not only did it take decades in some areas for the system to be introduced (at what cost?), even in areas where it's already implemented, it hasn't solved the problem of non-unique addresses since you've got multiple roads with the same names (e.g. multiple roads named Moy Road in Co. Armagh) and other councils are spending money on replacing existing rural road name signs to incorporate townland names in response to public pressure.

    If you think that a process of public consultation or local plebiscites would run smoothly, wouldn't cause any bad blood between neighbours and would be a quick and easy process, then ye certainly don't know much about rural Ireland and the almost religious fervour with which traditional boundaries (whether they be parish or townland or county) are adhered to.

    Even if none of those reasons were valid, why is there a need to introduce house numbers and road names to rural Ireland to solve a problem that no longer exists?

    To repeat - there are no non-unique addresses in Ireland any longer since Eircodes now form part of addresses and Eircodes are unique.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,692 ✭✭✭ plodder


    I would have seen road names, not as an alternative to Eircode (we are where we are etc) but as an alternative to the L123456 signs I see popping up in various places, and for which, I am really struggling to see a use.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,432 ✭✭✭ sondagefaux


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    It's amazing how easy it would be to implement something when you're not the one who has to implement it.

    "Adding names to every road and numbers to every house in the country would be easy." Oh yeah? Go do it, so.
    It wouldn't be easy. Imagine a stretch of rural road in Co. Monaghan. There are six households on this stretch of road, 3 republican households, three Protestant households. The republican householders want to name this stretch of road Bobby Sands Road. The Protestant households want to name it Ian Paisley Road. No problem you say, we'll use road numbers instead of names. Sure doesn't every road in Ireland have a road number allocated to it? Fair enough. We'll call this stretch of road the N2. Not the most useful name for a stretch of road in Co. Monagahan, since the N2 in Co. Monaghan is about 90km long. How about dividing the N2 into segments? Fair enough. Each townland the N2 passes through in Co. Monaghan will be given a unique code and this is appended to the N2. So, for this example, this stretch of N2 passes through the townland of Ballybay North. Ballybay North is given the code 16899. Now our stretch of road is the N2 - 16899. Easy to remember, isn't it?

    And it'll definitely gain widespread use fairly quickly - imagine three of our householders in a pub in Dublin - Where are ye from lads? Monaghan. Oh, my grandfather was from Co. Monaghan, which part are ye from lads? Just outside Ballybay village - on the N2 - 16889 road. Ah, the N2 - 16889 road, a lovely part of Monaghan, isn't that where Sheridan's pub is? Aye, that's right.

    Fast forward 25 years - the government finally gets around to funding the M2 and the N2 becomes the R189 when the M2 opens.

    Do all the N2 - XXXXX addresses now have to change? Disaster!

    How about we use numbers that have nothing to do with the existing route numbers instead to avoid this problem?

    So instead of N2 - 16889, we use 1343 - 16889.

    So lads what part of Monaghan are ye from? 1343 - 16889. Ah yes, I know it well. My grandfather was from there - he used to drink in Sheridan's pub...


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