Cross border postcodes after independence

Coldstream Royal Mail team pictured with MSP John Lamont
Coldstream Royal Mail team pictured with MSP John Lamont
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Will cross border postcodes remain as they are if Scotland votes for independence in September, or would mail going between England and Scotland be classed as international mail?

Royal Mail does not envisage problems.

Royal Mail spokesperson, Jennifer Bird, said this week: “The postcode is Royal Mail’s operational tool designed to ensure the accurate sorting, routing and delivery of our customers’ mail. Postcodes were created for the original routing of mail and as such do not necessarily reflect geographical or administrative boundaries.

The Communications Workers Union said: “Mail between the UK and Scotland could be classed as international post, and as such would be subject to a system of terminal dues involving payments from one operator to another based on a proportion of the cost of postage in the sender country.”

Scottish Ministers have indicated they would seek a cross-border mail system between Scotland and the UK similar to that in place between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, where there is a special cheaper rate.

In a week when the 40th anniversary of the post code is celebrated, for some residents in the TD12 and TD15 post codes which straddle the England/Scotland border there is little to celebrate. The TD12 postcode based at Coldstream has 23 delivery areas - 16 in Northumberland and seven in the Borders. The TD15 postcode based in Berwick has 30 Northumberland areas and nine in the Borders.

For years some residents in the Hutton, Paxton and Foulden area have been campaigning for a separate postcode because of problems caused by having a Scottish address but a postcode recognised as being in England. Many other services now use postcodes to identify areas - there have been instances where someone contacting NHS 24 out-of-hours health service in Scotland from a TD15 postcode is told to contact the English out-of-hours service even though they live in Scotland.