Edinburgh and Dundee in UK's top 10 for most 'eco-friendly' high street shopping areas, according to new analysis

Edinburgh and Dundee are among the top 10 cities for having the UK's most 'eco-friendly' high streets, according to new analysis.

The eco-friendly high street index was devised by researchers who took into account the number of recycling facilities, electric car charging points, restaurants suitable for vegans, independent shops, charity shops and nearby green spaces.

Price comparison site SaveOnEnergy used Google Street maps to identify how many of these amenities are being provided within 10 roads of the main high streets in 82 towns and cities with populations over 100,000 across the UK.

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Factors deemed not to be 'eco-friendly' in the analysis were the number of fast food spots and low air quality levels.

The area within 10 streets of Edinburgh's Royal Mile ranked fourth in the UK list of most 'eco-friendly' streets, according to the analysis. Pic: Matthi/Shutterstock

Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and Dundee's Nethergate and High Street areas ranked fourth and seventh in the league table respectively.

The provision of eateries suitable for vegans was a standout amenity for people visiting the streets in and around the Royal Mile, with 167 such services identified. The area also scored well for health food stores but fared poorly on the number of fast food spots with 176 counted.

Dundee scored well for electrical charging points with 18 available, just one less than those high street zones at the top of the list in Bristol and Brighton.

Glasgow's Buchanan Street was further down the list and the analysis did not include any other large towns or cities in Scotland.

The top 10 most 'eco-friendly' high street areas, according to the analysis.

The Grand Arcade in St Andrew's Street, Cambridge, came top of the table - mainly because there were a huge 64 publicly accessible green spaces identified and a small number of fast food outlets - followed by Bridge Street in Cardiff and Coppergate Shopping Centre in York.

Moor Street in Birmingham, The Headrow in Leeds and Southgate Street in Bath were also among the top 10.

Commercial Way in Woking - which features only two charging stations, one health food store and one recycling centre - came bottom of the rankings.


Dundee ranked seventh in the list.

SaveOnEnergy's index is a points-based system where a high street is given a number of points for each 'eco-friendly' amenity available within 10 roads of it.

Points are deducted for amenities not deemed to be 'eco-friendly' and, using this method, the points awarded or deducted range from between -2 to 3.

The number of points awarded for each facility depends on how strongly the amenity reflects eco-friendly living and the impact each has on the environment. For example, recycling centres and electrical charging points are awarded the most points since these have the most direct environmental impact.

Meanwhile, health food stores are only awarded one point for each amenity.

The least 'eco-friendly' streets, according to the index.

Two points were given for streets with good air quality, every restaurant that is suitable for vegans and for each charity shop or indepdent business, while every local green space was awarded three points.

Every fast food outlet was given a score of -1 while roads with poor air quality scored -2.

The total 'eco-rate' for each high street is an accumulation of the added and deducted points for all facilities studied.

The Royal Mile's eco-rate was 311 and Dundee's High Street and Nethergate scored 280, while Glasgow’s Buchanan Street scored 228.

Cambridge's Grand Arcade, in top spot, scored 357.

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