In the foreseeable future services such as door to door mail delivery and food drop-offs would be possible now that the Territory will finally have a national addressing system. The pilot for the system that has been in the pipeline since the 1990s was unveiled this week by the Town and Country Planning Department. It took some time though!

For years the need for an addressing system was bemoaned and it was always noted that it is being worked on. During a press conference on 17 September Chief Planner for the Town and Country Planning Department, Gregory Adams explained that the process was stalled because a number of streets and area did not have names.

Adams said that the Department was able to climb that major hurdle to reach the point where they can finally present the pilot map for the addressing system which includes the majority of the Road Town area. In noting some of the areas that now have a physical address the Chief Planner said: “The pilot project basically is the Road Town area which is from the Duffs Bottom area all the way to the Sophie Bay area. To close it off it goes up to the about the Ridge Road…It takes up quite a bit of Tortola and also covers what is perhaps the most densely populated area in the BVI. So, it covers a lot of physical addresses. A lot of buildings as well.”

He explained that the National Addressing system creates a physical address for every building in the BVI. According to the Chief Planner when buildings come into the Department for approval they would be given a physical address so as to ensure that there are no gaps in the system: “When we are done each building that is existing, each building that will be built will have a physical address.”

Rescue services was a critical aspect considered and the Chief Planner mentioned that the Department communicated with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, and the Fire and Rescue Services to get feedback.

He said that the addressing system has a live connection to the 911 call center and will therefore sync with the navigation feature most rescue vehicles have. Therefore, Adams explained that now when persons call for emergency response – the address being called from will match the information that registers.

“It was explained that the navigation system in the rescue vehicles will now show where the call that they are responding to is coming from and therefore response can be quick: “It helps to expedite their response as well, so it’s a very robust system,” the Chief Planner noted.

It was disclosed that by mid 2020 the entire BVI is expected to have physical addresses and the Chief Planner said that this can result in a number of entrepreneurial opportunities for Virgin Islanders.

While the Department said that persons can commence using their physical address, he noted that the BVI Postal Services mentioned that there are some international steps that would need to be taken to make the addresses ready for mail delivery.