Meath CoCo are, this coming week, to debate Eircode. The following is briefing material which has been sent to them on Eircode , supplied to me by but not produced by Loc8. Although this is a competitor, it has the massive advantage of being FREE. I reproduce this ‘as is’ for comment. Any comments by myself are contained within [brackets]
Why the current Eircode design must be dropped.
• As a result of its design, key Heritage and Tourist sites such as Newgrange and the Hill of Tara cannot have an Eircode. Eircode will not therefore, be useable for many elements of the Heritage, Tourism, Sporting, Angling, Logistics, Religious, Education, Marine, Farming and Forestry sectors in Ireland.
• Eircode will not improve the known ambiguity of Irish property addressing and therefore will not improve health and safety or general public safety and related duties of care for Local Authorities ; See here
• Eircode is not supported by any major technology companies including those who produce navigation systems such as Garmin or TomTom, which will make it difficult for ordinary people and tourists to use in their daily lives.
• The postal districts to be built into Eircode will extend new Dublin 4 and Dublin 6W like postal areas (routing keys) across the whole country with associated changes to property and business values as well as the apparent rezoning of land. This will have significant implications for Local Authorities and will result in many representations to Councillors. These new areas have never been published for consideration. [ this should be interesting….but it is in fairness something that comes with most postcode systems. What is worrying is that these areas are not public. Why? ]
• Eircode has never been tested, piloted or certified fit-for-purpose. In all other countries a new postcode is piloted in a small population centre before national roll-out. This is not planned for Eircode. Eircode has never even been presented to a focus group for evaluation. A sample CD recently sent to industry groups, contained no Eircodes in order to allow evaluation and no indication of the new Dublin 4 like postal areas (routing keys) planned for the rest of the country
• Major Industries on which the success of Eircode is dependent have expressed serious concerns about the structure of Eircode. The Freight Transport Association, whose members deliver the bulk of goods to business and houses across Ireland (DHL, FEDEX, UPS, DPD etc) have said they will not use it and Emergency Services’ representatives have said it could cost lives. [This really is a killer – these people KNOW the benefits of postcodes. That they will go without, or with an unofficial system, rather than use the proposed one, that really tells us something]
• Minister White, and Rabbitte before him, has never engaged with and effectively ignored key user/industry groups in relation to Eircode and have repeatedly stated that the total cost of Eircode will be €27 million when it is known that it will cost the economy in excess of €100m. The specific costs of for Local Authorities have never been quantified. [More mushroom treatment…]
• Eircode is not the hierarchical code that was tendered for and it has never been subjected to a cost benefit analysis. It does not comply with the requirements identified by the National Postcode Board which was established by Minister Dempsey in 2006 to set out requirements.
• Eircode is over dependent on GPS and mobile phone technology to use it and will not be useable by an average citizen just by looking at it. It is deliberately randomised which will cause confusion. It contains none of the qualities of the UK postcode which are well proven to be useful to all user groups. [ the great thing about a UK style code, and they pioneered them, is that by looking at a map one can see what the code is. This Eircode, no..]
• Those who are contracted to deliver Eircode are a UK company which has no experience in postcodes and the tender that they won has been judged to have breached an EC regulation by a 18 month long EC investigation which also determined that it did not comply with EU/Irish best practice nor Department of Finance guidelines
• Eircode is currently the subject of an ongoing Joint Oireachtas Transport and Communication Committee Hearing which has no deadline for reporting.
• Eircode is currently the subject of a Comptroller & Auditors General investigation which is due to report after Eircode is rolled out. [horse, stable door…. ]
• Eircode is bad for citizens, bad for business, bad for tourism and bad for our emergency services. The manner it was launched by Pat Rabbitte ignored the Postcode Working Group & ignored expert advice. While Rabbittes successor, Alex White, has to date ignored all valid criticism of Eircode from interested parties.
• Eircode will be an expensive fiasco just like eVoting & PPARS in the past. [ well, probably not as expensive]