A post town is a required part of all postal addresses in the United Kingdom, and a basic unit of the postal delivery system. Including the correct post town in the address increases the chance of a letter or parcel being delivered on time. Post towns in general originated as the location of delivery offices. As of 2004[update], their main function is to distinguish between locality or street names in addresses not including a postcode.
1 Organisation 2 Usage
2.1 Locality 2.2 Via 2.3 Ambiguous post town names
3 See also 4 References 5 External links
There are approximately 1,500 post towns which are organised by Royal
Mail subject to its policy only to impose changes where it has a
proven, economic and practical benefit to the organisation, covering
its own cost. Each post town usually corresponds to one or more
postal districts (the 'outward' part of the postcode, before the
space) therefore each post town can cover an area comprising many
towns, urban districts and villages. Post towns rarely correspond
exactly to administrative boundaries and their associated physical
features. As such they often group a small minority of neighbourhoods,
streets or houses together with a main settlement in a different
county, area of local government or administration (including
healthcare trust), constituency, European statistical region and/or
traditional parish. This was a main reason why postal counties were
abolished (but not prohibited) in 1996.
In some places several post towns cover a single postal district (with
each post town corresponding to one or more of its postcode sectors).
There are anomalies where post towns and postcode sectors have a more
unusual co-relation. For example, the postcode sector EH14 5 is split
between three post towns: Juniper Green,
1 Vallance Road LONDON E2 1AA
The use of postcodes means that it is no longer necessary to include
the former postal county in a postal address. Some post towns, known
as special post towns, never required the inclusion of a postal
county, either because the town was large or because it gave its name
to the county.
In most places, additional locality information such as a village or
suburb name is optionally added above the post town, giving a more
specific location: the two largest 'post town' cities named, for
example, have many roads of the same name in different localities and
the additional locality information is therefore essential if the
postcode is wrongly recorded or unknown.
Where this is a disambiguating feature,
1 Vallance Road Bethnal Green LONDON E2 1AA
If no valid postcode is provided, or if the sorting machine rejects the letter, the use of optional locality or county information may assist manual sorting. In the absence of a full valid postcode, locality often prevents ambiguity where there is more than one street with the same name covered by a post town or postcode district, or where post towns in different counties have the same name. Via Traditionally only, where a place such as a village was served by a post town entirely distinct from its location, the word "Via" or "Near" ("Nr.") was added before the post town. For example:
1 High Street Sewardstone Via London E4 1AA
Barnsley (S) Belfast (BT) Birmingham (B) Bolton (BL) Cardiff (CF) Chesterfield (S) Glasgow (G) Leeds (LS) London (E, EC, N, NW, SE, SW, W, WC) Manchester (M) Mansfield (NG) Nottingham (NG) Redditch (B) Salford (M) Sheffield (S)
Postcode Address File Postcodes in the United Kingdom
^ a b Royal Mail, Address Management Guide, (2004)
^ a b "REVIEW OF ROYAL MAIL'S LICENCE CONDITION 20 – POSTCODE
ADDRESS FILE CODE OF PRACTICE: A DECISION DOCUMENT" (PDF). Postcomm.
March 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 October 2007.
Retrieved 13 December 2009.
^ "Pembrokeshire (
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