While I wholeheartedly support the argument in this article that government funded and obtained information should be accessible to the tax payers that funded it the comparison the author makes to the information available in the United States isn't correct. A couple years back I started working on a system that included the use of geographical coordinates in conjunction with zip codes and quickly found that it is nearly impossible as a private individual to get your filthy paws on any of this information collected within the last five years. I searched again on the USPS site and couldn't find the page this time around but the basic answer that I got to all of my inquiries was to purchase the database from a private company. Apparently you can get this information but only if you intend to sell it back to tax payers. That isn't free.
If anyone has different information or a source that I've overlooked I'd love to hear otherwise but I think that most people are stuck when it comes to obtaining collected data and statistics from their government and that is not unique to the United Kingdom.