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New National Street Database could prevent SatNav mishaps

Posted: 13 May 2009

A new national street database providing details of low bridges, narrow roads and other restrictions could help to reduce satellite navigation errors.

The National Street Gazetteer (NSG) lists over one million UK streets and is already widely used to help co-ordinate roads works across England and Wales. It has been updated to a new format that enables Highways Authorities to record heights, weights and width restrictions, and directions (one way or two way) against individual roads and streets.

The new DTF 7.1 format, which is compliant with BS7666:2006, also enables closer alignment with the National Land and Property Gazetteer, the country's definitive list of property addresses. Improving both the richness of the data held in the NSG and the data checking routines will enable those involved in road works to consult and co-ordinate more effectively, reducing inconvenience and congestion.

Significantly the ability to record heights, weights, width restrictions relating to weak bridges, low bridges, or simply streets not wide enough for HGVs, now makes the NSG particularly useful to emergency services, transport firms and satellite navigation companies.

Roads and streets are part of the country's infrastructure and currently there are 1,127,730 of them listed in the NSG. Issues such as congestion, capacity planning, street works, accidents, incidents and maintenance can affect them all.

Uses could include command and control, routing, incident handling and risk assessment. In the absence of a suitable alternative the NSG could easilybecome the preferred source of definitive road information, providing recommended freight routes, motorway incident diversion routes and much more. The additional street data file (ASD) provides essential information, such as traffic sensitivity, bridges and structures, whilst closer alignment with the National Land and Property Gazetteer, already chosen for future fire incident mobilisation, makes its wider adoption more likely still.

"Highways Authorities collect and maintain road information routinely and the new DFT 7.1 format now enables this to be collected in a consistent and uniform manner across the country and takes into account the recent formation of nine new unitary authorities." said Martin Laker from Bath and North East Somerset Council, a member of the NSG Working Group. "Additionally this information will be available through the NSG hub making it a valuable national resource with ownership remaining with the creating authorities. As the NSG matures and becomes more than just a street works dataset it can start to be used for things like routing, both day-to-day and in the case of emergencies, something the Road Haulage Association are currently asking for," continued Laker.

13 May 2009
Notes to Editors:

Intelligent Addressing is a specialist private sector consultancy (an SME) employing recognised experts in addressing. It was originally set up to help develop the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) on behalf of local government and now manages the NLPG and NSG (National Street Gazetteer) central data hubs under the terms of the Mapping Services Agreement (MSA) with local government.


Required under the New Roads and Street Works Act, the National Street Gazetteer (NSG) is a comprehensive list of over 1 million named and un-named streets, footpaths and thoroughfares, the definitive source for anyone with an interest in streets and their usage. There are over 300 organisations, utilities such as gas, water and electricity, BT, plus cable and communications companies, named as âStatutory Undertakers' approved by the Department of Transport to download this data, which conforms to the BS7666 Standard. The NSG is a government initiative to create an unambiguous referencing system, using Unique Street Reference Numbers (USRNs) with which to identify any length of highway or road in England and Wales. Set up initially to improve highway maintenance, under the New Roads and Street Works Act, the NSG enables Utility companies and local councils to coordinate and know where and when to dig their holes. Under legislation each highway authority is required to create and maintain its own local street gazetteer (LSG) and additional street data (ASD), which is then compiled into one master index, the NSG, for access by others via the NSG online hub. The NSG is run on behalf of local government by the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) with Intelligent Addressing (IA) as the national custodian.

Intelligent Addressing contacts:

Gayle Gander, Head of Marketing | T: 020 7747 3500 | Email: ggander:intelligent-addressing.co.uk | www.intelligent-addressing.co.uk

The Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) works in partnership with all councils, to enhance the performance of the best, accelerate the speed of improvement of the rest, and develop the sector as a whole.

Working in partnership with the local government community developing national infrastructure projects that enable councils to deliver local services more effectively, LGIH acts as an intermediary between the public and the private sector enabling it to negotiate with private companies on behalf of local authorities in order to provide key parts of a technical infrastructure for improved service delivery.

IDeA contact:

Paul Bailey | t: 020 7296 6600 | e: [email protected] | http://www.idea.gov.uk

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