A new study that measured high street air quality of the 25 biggest British cities and towns ranked Reading’s Broad Street as one of the least polluted in England.

According to a new study from sustainable energy provider GRIDSERVE, The World Health Organisation said that annual levels should not exceed 5 micrograms per cubic meter of air.

Their list of Towns and Cities included in their study was as follows:

High street’s Air Quality ranked – cleanest to most polluted (average PM2.5 score).

  1. Glasgow (Buchanan Street) – 2.2
  2. Edinburgh (Princes Street) – 2.7
  3. Reading (Broad Street) – 4.1
  4. Cardiff (St Mary Street) – 4.7
  5. Bristol (Broadmead) – 4.7
  6. Plymouth (New George Street) – 5.0
  7. Portsmouth (Commercial Road) – 5.1
  8. Leeds (Briggate) – 5.3
  9. Brighton (Western Road) – 5.6
  10. Sheffield (Fargate) – 6.3
  11. London (Oxford Street) – 6.8
  12. Derby (St Peter’s Street) – 6.9
  13. Liverpool (Church Street) – 7.1
  14. Birmingham New Street – 7.3
  15. Northampton (Abington Street) – 7.3
  16. Manchester (Market Street) – 7.6
  17. Luton (George Street) – 7.6
  18. Nottingham (High Street) – 7.7
  19. Southampton (Above Bar Street) – 8.8
  20. Bradford (Broadway) – 10.6
  21. Hull (Jameston Street) – 10.7
  22. Coventry (West Orchards Way) – 11.1
  23. Leicester (Gallowtree Gate) – 11.2
  24. Newcastle (Northumberland Street) – 11.5
  25. Stoke-On-Trent (Parliament Street) – 11.7

Only six of the 25 high streets in the study recorded an average reading of 5 or lower, one of which was Reading which had a reading of 4.1.

Stoke-on-Trent had the highest average level of PM2.5 in the air (11.7), followed by Newcastle (11.5) and Leicester (11.2). Newcastle also registered the highest single reading of 20.5.

Particulate matter (PM) is everything in the air that’s not gas and consists of many chemical compounds and materials.

Because of their small size, they can enter the bloodstream and cause illnesses such as asthma, heart disease and lung cancer.

Additional research among 2,000 adults reveals 40% of adults are concerned about the air quality on the street where they do most of their shopping, with emissions from cars being the main reason.

Nearly half of people think more plants or fewer cars would improve air quality, while a third think more electric vehicles would help.

Around a quarter of people are trying to find greener ways to travel, while just over one in 10 avoid shopping where there are lots of cars or just forgo the high street in favour of online shopping. 

This news comes as more 20mph zones, increased parking charges for the most-polluting cars, and several other measures are in line to tackle Reading’s poor air quality. Read more here.