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December 2016

1)Roads investment package

In the Autumn Statement the Government committed to upgrading and renewing the local highway infrastructure and complementing other investment initiatives to help economic growth by announcing new funding of £1.3 billion over this Parliament to help support infrastructure projects on the network.

It will mean £1.1 billion for local roads and £220 million to relieve congestion on strategic routes.

This is on top of the £6 billion the Government is already allocating to councils in England up to 2021 to help improve the condition of the local road network – almost double the £3.7 billion allocated a decade ago.

See report:

2)Launch of OS MasterMap Highways Network

Just in case you missed the announcement last month, OS Master Highways Network is now available for all users!

The dataset was launched by Roads Minister, Andrew Jones MP at the Highways UK event on 16th November.  Links to announcements about the launch are available from the three key stakeholders involved in developing the product; the Department for Transport, OS and GeoPlace:

UK Authority also published a report on the availability of the product.

3)Mayor of London vows to tackle London's road congestion

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has announced a series of measures aimed at directly tackling growing congestion on London's roads and improving reliability for all road users. 

Transport for London (TfL) will take immediate steps using new and improved strategic management, technology and communication to tackle the problem of congestion in London head-on. The measures being announced include better communication directly with road users to allow them to plan their journeys, and better collaboration to reduce disruption from roadworks.

Specific measures to tackle congestion include:

·         Ensuring that the infrastructure that supports the road network, including traffic signals and road surfaces, are reliable, faults are minimised and repairs are carried out faster.

·         Communicating better with road users to allow people to make more effective decisions about their journeys based on the most accurate and up-to-date information.

·         Collaborating more efficiently with local authorities, utility companies and developers to reduce the impact of planned road works.

The Mayor's announcement can be seen at and a report on the initiative has been published by UK Authority at

4)Street Naming and numbering in the news!

The sometimes tricky issue of street naming and numbering has featured in a number of news articles in the past month – nationally and internationally, including:

The GeoPlace Contacts Group has a very active SNN discussion group – join in the conversation at

5)Highways England awards contracts worth more than £300m

Highways England has awarded four contracts worth more than £300m for work in Cumbria and North Lancashire, and the North East of England.

Kier Highways Limited and a CH2M Costain joint venture have won two new style Asset Delivery maintenance and response contracts worth up to £262m and running for up to 15 years.

The contracts use a new format from Highways England that was launched in the East Midland's region in July this year, following difficulties with its Asset Support Contracts (ASC), which were designed to replace the Managing Agent Contractor (MAC) model with a more flexible system.

Under the new Asset Delivery format, Highways England directly manages both routine maintenance and the delivery of capital renewal and improvement schemes.

This marks a major shift to bringing key functions in-house and taking greater control of the road network.

6)An Oasis of Calm in a year of turbulence…

In a year of turbulence and surprises domestically and abroad, our world of address and street data has been an oasis of calm with steady improvements in data quality coupled with a few big announcements!

  • During February, Ordnance Survey confirmed to us that they have ceased the wholesale address capture and maintenance processes they previously carried out, with the primary content now fulfilled from the NAG Hub.  Sally Cooper Product Creation & Fulfilment Manager at Ordnance Survey said "This is a really big milestone for Ordnance Survey in our collaborative journey with GeoPlace and local authorities. Working together is key to ensuring the NAG hub and AddressBase products are of the highest quality and we continue to be fully committed to this collaboration."

  • March was a particularly notable month with:

    • the release to the PSMA Community of the OSMM Highways Network - a combination of data from local highway authorities via the National Street Gazetteer, Highways England data from the Trunk Road Street Gazetteer and accurate detailed geometry and additional road content from OS.

    • AddressBase Islands added to the AddressBase range of products - providing an additional 1 million addresses and first single consistent coverage of the UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands

  • In April we hosted the then Minister for the Cabinet Office. Matt Hancock MP at our annual conference who paid tribute to Council Address Custodians and gave a very knowledgeable presentation on the importance of addressing

    • at the conference, we gave Gold Awards to a whopping 214 councils who have performed consistently at the highest levels over the year

    • April also saw the establishment of the UPRN in Health Steering Group which aims to build a stronger case for including UPRNs in health data

  • May saw the publication of a GeoPlace commissioned study 'Cost Benefit Analysis of Address and Street Data for Local Authorities and Emergency Services in England and Wales', which projects net benefits up to £202 million by 2020 from better use of the address and street data that councils create and maintain. Based on the current rates of adoption, this represents a Return on Investment after discounting of 4:1

  • In August we started some POC (Proof of Concept) trials of daily updates of AddressBase Premium.  We now receive daily updates from over 75% of the address contributing local authorities and we are looking forward to this growing during next year.  Timetable for the release of daily supply of AddressBase Premium will be during next year.

  • In October, we announced that an SNN Practice Working Group would be established in 2017 to raise awareness on the importance of SNN and support the existing SNN community

  • In November, some 68 council celebrated [email protected] Day. Events ranged from presentations to quizzes, exhibition stands to drop-in demos, all to raise awareness about how location information can be used to improve and join up services within authorities

  • November also saw the exciting launch of the OSMM Highways Network to the commercial market place by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport Andrew Jones MP.  Already over 100 organisations have down loaded this data.

  • On top of all of this, the GeoPlace Contracts Group on the Khub consistently remains the most active of the 1,500 groups on the whole of the Platform

As always, none of this would be possible without the work undertaken by Authority Address and Street Custodians, who as a community constantly improve the quality and level of detail held within their gazetteers.  Due to your efforts, hundreds of users of address and street data across the UK in councils, the emergency services and wider public sector as well as service providers in the private sector are able to make savings and deliver more effectively.

A sincere Thank You to each and every member of our GeoPlace community.

From all of the staff at GeoPlace I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

Richard Mason. Managing Director, GeoPlace

7)A Christmas question from your Principal Chairs

Where did the year just gone go? 

As your Principal Chairs we have decided in the interests of efficiency to again send a joint Christmas message to you all. Actually it's only efficient for one of us as the other person is still writing this message!

2016 has once again seen an increase in data content and accuracy against a backdrop of reduced budgets and resources. This once again makes your achievements even more impressive, and we would like to thank you for your commitment and professionalism in these difficult times which show no sign of abating.


2016 has been an especially challenging but productive time for the Streets community with the changes required for DTF8.1, and the launch and expansion of the OS MasterMap Highways Network has raised the profile of street data to a higher level of interest than ever before.

On the Address side, some progress has been made towards increasing the links between Custodians and Street Naming and Numbering colleagues, and we hope to continue to see that move forward in the New Year.

We would once again thank any custodians who have contributed time to any of the Chairs, working or technical groups as well as anyone who has volunteered to be a reviewer of the work of these groups. To undertake these tasks as well as doing your day jobs is a commitment which we think makes the gazetteer community a special group to be part of.  Without your enthusiasm, commitment and expertise we would not be able to improve as a community in the co-ordinated manner we do.

On a personal note we would also like to thank our deputy Principal Chairs Keith Curran and Ryan Gilchrist for their help, assistance and contributions throughout the year.  Thank you to all the Regional Chairs as well, who all help us to build and maintain our strong community.

2016 has yet again seen a significant number of changes within the custodian community, a mixture of retirements and moves to new jobs have once again resulted in a number of changes.  We'd both like to warmly welcome new custodians to our community and we hope that'll you'll benefit from our strong network of peer support.

Looking forward to 2017, we would like to see as many of you as possible at the GeoPlace conference and awards at Elland Road Leeds on Thursday 11th of May 2017 to celebrate all your efforts during the last year.

So all that remains is to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and hope we can all continue with the good work in 2017. Did anyone figure out where the year just gone went?

If anyone has any problems or issues they wish to raise, please feel free to contact your Regional Chair or either of us as appropriate.

Thank you all.

Cathy Coelho and Glenn Dobson

8)Regional Meetings

1st March – West Midlands Regional Street Meeting – Solihull

8th March – East of England Regional Street Meeting – London

14th March – Yorkshire & Humber Regional Street Meeting – Hull

15th March – North East Regional Street Meeting - Darlington

4th April – West Midlands Regional Address Meeting – Codsall

6th April – Wales Regional Street Meeting – Llandrindod Wells

19th April – South West Joint Regional Meeting - Taunton

3RD May – North East Regional Address Meeting - Seaham

23rd May – East Midlands Regional Street Meeting – Nottingham

24th May – East Midlands Regional Address Meeting – Grantham

1st June – South East Regional Street Meeting – London

6th June – South East Regional Address Meeting – London

8th June – Wales Regional Address Meeting – Llandrindod Wells

14th June – East of England Regional Address Meeting – TBA

11th July – Yorkshire & Humber Regional Address Meeting – TBA

12th July – North West Regional Address Meeting - Lancaster

9)Top three Khub Christmas jokes of 2016

Khub members have been submitting their favourite Christmas joke. The GeoPlace facilitators narrowed it down to the top three for the community to vote on:

  • How did Darth Vader know what Luke Skywalker was getting for Christmas?

    • He felt his presents!

  • How does Santa walk in the Welsh snow?

    • Caerphilly

  • How do you find Will Smith in the snow?

    • You look for fresh prints

After tight polling ‘How does Santa walk in the Welsh snow' emerged as the winner with 41% of the vote just a couple of points over Darth Vader which came in with 39%.

Congratulations to David Simpson from Durham for your December joke submission!