Sunday, 24 April 2011

Which councils chose the most boring street names?

The widest variety of different street names is to be found in central London. Manchester, Scottish cities, and some English ports also show quite a lot of variety in their choice of street names. The least interesting mix of names tends to be found in rural counties to the east of England. East and North Yorkshire, Norfolk, and Lincolnshire all have a high proportion of common names, and use little variety in naming the rest of their network.

The bottom line is that the most interesting names are in Islington, and Kensington & Chelsea. Norfolk must try harder.

Allowing a bit of slack for spelling variations and tagging errors, the OSM database holds well over 250,000 different street names across the whole of the UK network. But some are more common than others. Only 25 of the most popular street names account for almost 5% of the named network.

"Station Road" and "High Street" are the most popular names. These represent respectively just over, and just under 0.5% of the total. "Church Road", "Church Lane", "Main Street", "Mill Lane", and "London Road" are also among the 25 most conventional names. However, the pattern is not consistent. In parts of London and Scotland the most common names account for less than 1% of the network; while in other parts of the country the 25 most common names account for almost 10% of the named road network.

Outside the most common names, the bigger authorities tend to use a wider variety of names - as one would expect because they operate bigger road networks. The big counties, like Kent, Essex, Lancashire and Hampshire each uses more than 1,000 distinct street names. On the other hand island councils such as Orkney, Shetland, Western Idles, and Anglesey; and smaller authorities on the mainland use a much smaller number of different names. Adjusting for the size of each road network, central London boroughs, and some cities, such as Stoke, Manchester, Bristol, and Derby each use a wide variety of different street names in proportion to their size, while shire counties generally show less variety.

The local authorities with the highest proportion of roads using common street names are:
  • East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Norfolk
  • Moray
  • Bedford
  • Lincolnshire
The local authorities with the lowest proportion of roads using common street names are:
  • Lewisham
  • Western Isles
  • Islington
  • City of Westminster
  • Kensington and Chelsea
The local authorities with the most diverse mix of different street names are:
  • City of London
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Islington
  • Kensington and Chelsea
The local authorities with the least diverse mix of different street names are:
  • Norfolk
  • North Yorkshire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Western Isles
  • Orkney Islands
And as exercises in unnecessary and meaningless statistics go, I reckon all that will take some beating.

1 comment:

Ed Irkitated said...

I hate boring street names and Adelaide is full of them. Ive come up with an ingenious plan though... Read more here http://irkitated.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/boring-street-names.html