New national street database could prevent sat nav errors


Already widely used to help co-ordinate road works across England and Wales, the National Street Gazetteer (NSG) lists more than one million UK streets, and has been updated to a new format that enables Highways Authorities to record height, weight 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 & 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 height, weight, and width restrictions relating to weak or low bridges, or narrow streets now makes the NSG particularly useful to emergency services, transport firms and satellite navigation companies.

The NSG currently lists almost 1.13 million roads and streets, all of which can be affected by accidents, congestion, capacity planning, road works and maintenance.

Uses could include command and control, routing, incident handling and risk assessment. In the absence of a suitable alternative, the NSG could easily become the preferred source of definitive road information, providing recommended freight routes, motorway incident diversion routes and much more.

The additional street data (ASD) file provides essential information, such as traffic sensitivity, bridges and structures, whilst closer alignment with the National Land & Property Gazetteer, already chosen for future fire incident mobilisation, makes its wider adoption more likely still.

According to Martin Laker from Bath & North East Somerset Council and a member of the NSG Working Group, as the NSG matures, it will become more than just a street works dataset; it will also be used for things like routing, both day-to-day and in the case of emergencies, which is something the Road Haulage Association is currently asking for.

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