Posted by: Ben Leefield
Public Sector Information Holder: Royal Mail
Information Asset: UK Domestic and Business Address Data
The Royal Mail holds information on all known business and residential addresses in the UK (more than 28 million addresses), supplied to it free of charge by local authorities (local authorities create addresses, Royal Mail adds the postcode) - yet much of this information is then not freely available for re-use.
Royal Mail currently allows very limited free searching of this information via the “Address Finder” on website (15 searches a day) or it imposes substantial charges for unlimited searching via an encrypted CD supplied database. Even local authorities have to pay for data they largely provided initially.
My ideal solution
Due to the size of the dataset, making it available to publicly download is not practicable. Ideally, the dataset should be available on CD on request, at cost only. Searches of this dataset via the Royal Mail website should also not be subject to a daily limit.
What I would do
Develop free web applications similar to the Danish KRAK system - http://www.krak.dk/ that provides free access to this data.