News Article Local MP wipes Humberside from Royal Mail's address list

Tom Stanley

Royal Mail has removed “Humberside” from its address database in response to a successful campaign by local MP, Graham Stuart.

Local MP wipes Humberside from Royal Mail's address list

Royal Mail has removed “Humberside” from its address database in response to a successful campaign by local MP, Graham Stuart.

Humberside was formed in 1974 and then superseded by four councils in 1996. Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire replaced the county just 18 years after it was set up.

Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, said on his website that his constituents had been left “irritated and exasperated by the continued use of the defunct term on mail and during online ordering”.

“My constituents were telling me that they were writing back to businesses to tell them they lived in Yorkshire, not Humberside, and some were refusing to by goods online from companies whose online forms would only accept Humberside as a county name.”

According to the BBC, “Royal Mail confirmed the name had been removed from their address database after Mr Stuart had a meeting with chief executive Moya Greene”.

Royal Mail supply three county terms - Former Postal County, Traditional and Administrative - to solution providers like us in a file called Alias. The file is designed to supplement the address information held in their main file, the Postcode Address File (PAF®). This change will suppress references to South and North Humberside in the Former Postal County term.

It remains to be seen whether Royal Mail will follow this update with further changes to counties in the Alias file. Although county has not been required on address labels since 1996, many websites still capture and use the information for other purposes - seemingly not always to the delight of their users.

We include Alias information in our address validation products for those that want it, alongside an extra term called “Current County”, which we maintain ourselves - this at least means our customers can keep their counties when all about them are losing theirs.

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