Leeds street named ‘one of the most polluted in the country’

“It’s shocking to see that so many were above the World Health Organisation’s annual recommendations for air pollution.”

A new fieldwork study has revealed the worst air polluted city centre streets in the UK, and a popular Leeds street has been crowned one of the worst.

Briggate has been named one of the most polluted streets in the country.

Recordings were taken at high streets in the 25 largest towns and cities in the country over a two-week period.

The results found that 76 per cent are exceeding the World Health Organisation’s recommended annual level of air pollution.

The study enlisted a planning consultancy to collect samples using an air quality monitoring device at 11am on either a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday to ensure as much comparability as possible between the locations.

Briggate in Leeds.
Image: Unsplash

Sam Clarke, chief vehicle officer at the sustainable energy business, said: “With millions set to hit the high street this festive period, we wanted to look at the state of the nation’s air quality in the locations people will be doing most of their Christmas shopping.

“It’s shocking to see that so many were above the World Health Organisation’s annual recommendations for air pollution, and that one in 10 shoppers are even planning on foregoing the highstreets altogether due to air quality.”

The study comes after a poll of 2,000 adults which found 36% have concerns over the health of the community due to air pollution, or the health of their family (26 per cent) or themselves (25 per cent).

Twenty streets in the UK were over the recommended World Health Organisation recommended levels of 5 µg/m3):

  • 1. Stoke-On-Trent (Parliament Street) – 11.7
  • 2. Newcastle (Northumberland Street) – 11.5
  • 3. Leicester (Gallowtree Gate) – 11.2
  • 4. Coventry (West Orchards Way) – 11.1
  • 5. Hull (Jameston Street) – 10.7
  • 6. Bradford (Broadway) – 10.6
  • 7. Southampton (Above Bar Street) – 8.8
  • 8. Nottingham (High Street) – 7.7
  • 9. Luton (George Street) – 7.6
  • 10. Manchester (Market Street) – 7.6
  • 11. Northampton (Abington Street) – 7.3
  • 12. Birmingham New Street – 7.3
  • 13. Liverpool (Church Street) – 7.1
  • 14. Derby (St Peter’s Street) – 6.9
  • 15. London (Oxford Street) – 6.8
  • 16. Sheffield (Fargate) – 6.3
  • 17. Brighton (Western Road) – 5.6
  • 18. Leeds (Briggate) – 5.3
  • 19. Portsmouth (Commercial Road) – 5.1

Sam Clarke added: “If we’re to reach the World Health Organisation’s annual target of 5 µg/m3 of PM2.5 in our air, collectively we need to change our behaviours.

“With vehicle emissions being a key contributor, anything we can do to travel more greenly, from walking more to cycling, and including electric vehicles, is a very valuable set forward to improve the air we breathe daily.”

Read more: A former bank on The Headrow has gone up for sale – and it’s the most expensive property for sale in Leeds

Featured image – Visit Leeds

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