End of 'the' road: Council to vote on scrapping 'the' in new street names

The Pightle street name, Swaffham Image copyright Google
Image caption Swaffham - which is administered by Breckland Council - has more than one street name beginning with 'the'

New street names beginning with "The" could be scrapped.

When the three-letter word is included in an address, such as The Walk, valuable time can be lost when clarifying and responding, a report said.

Breckland Council in Norfolk is looking at whether it should change its street naming and numbering policy.

The recommendation is for new street or building names only and the council is not recommending retrospective changes.

"For example: if you allow 'The Walk' as a street name when someone phones to give the address of the incident, they don't say, '17 the THE Walk', they just say, '17 the Walk'," the council said in public reports.

"It's just our vocabulary and the way we use 'the' when we talk to the emergency services who have to type it into their central address search system they can lose valuable seconds if they are not sure whether to include 'the' or not."

Image copyright Google
Image caption The Campingland is another street in Swaffham with 'the' at the start of its name
Image copyright Geograph/Adrian Cable
Image caption Elsewhere in Norfolk there is even a street called The Street

A spokeswoman said the council is following guidance from the National Property Gazetteer, the organisation which manages the national address list for the UK.

The change is one of several which the council could make to its new street name policy.

It will also decide whether it should in future use people's names for streets "due to the possible legal ramifications of not getting the appropriate living relatives' permission".

Breckland Council was due to vote on the issue on Thursday but it has now been deferred to its Overview and Scrutiny Commission at a later date.

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