Sir, – Apart from the UK and Canada, no European country nor the USA, use coded grid coordinates for postcodes. France, Spain, Sweden and Germany use a simpler hierarchical code based around the actual post distribution system.
The argument for Ireland and the UK is that rural dwellers are difficult to locate for deliveries and emergencies as they are not part of the town and street system.
However, there is a cheaper and very effective alternative – the national grid coordinate.
A 10-digit code as used by hillwalkers will get you to within 10m of any house in rural Ireland and will work quite well even in towns and cities.
When shortened to eight digits as in my address below, the coordinate is good to within 100m, which would be adequate for most emergency services or a parcel delivery in a rural setting.
The national grid is free, simple to understand and is printed on most Ordnance Survey maps.
It can also be found on every GPS and satnav system. The benefits are that no codification is required and ease of use. A 10 digit number is no longer than many telephone numbers with their area codes and an added benefit is that one can estimate the distance or proximity of another address by comparing the numbers. – Yours, etc,