- Post town
A post town is a required part of all postal addresses in the
United Kingdom, and a basic unit of the postal delivery system.Royal Mail, "Address Management Guide," (2004)] Including the correct post town in the address increases the chances of a letter or parcel being delivered on time.
There are approximately 1,500 post towns which are organised at the convenience of the
Royal Mail. Each post town usually corresponds to one or more postal districts and each post town can cover an area including many individual towns and villages. Post towns rarely correspond to political boundaries and often group places that for all other purposes are quite separate.
In some places several post towns correspond to a single postal district with each post town covering one or more postcode sectors
The Royal Mail states that the post town must be included on all items and should be printed in capitals.
:1 Vallance Road:LONDON:E2 1AA
The system means that some addresses will have post towns that correspond to a place nearby, or cover a very large area.
In some places in order to give further direction an additional 'dependent locality' is added above the post town giving a more specific location name. In most cases, including in the LONDON post town, this is not a required part of the address. However, if no postcode is used, or if the sorting machine rejects the letter, the use of locality will significantly speed up manual sorting.
:1 Vallance Road:Bethnal Green:LONDON:E2 1AA
In a limited number of places a second 'double dependent locality' line is also required. Dependent localities are usually only in place where there is more than one road with the same name covered by a post town or postal district.
Traditionally, where a place was served by a post town entirely distinct from its location the text 'via' or 'near' was added before the post town. Such as:
:1 High Street:Sewardstone:VIA LONDON:E4 1AA
However, the Royal Mail discourage this usage because of the risk of additional characters affecting the performance of their
optical character recognitiontechnology.
* [http://www.evoxfacilities.co.uk/evoxptn.html List of UK post towns] (as of 2007)
* [http://www.royalmail.com Information etc. from UK postal service]
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