Friday 2 November 2018 2:49 pm

Fried chicken and a trip to the bookies: London’s worst high streets revealed

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Researchers have drawn a fresh map of London to rank its best and worst high streets for mental health and wellbeing.

The Royal Society for Public Health analysed the different shops on high streets across the UK and measured them against factors including their potential to encourage healthy choices and their usefulness for mental wellbeing.

For example, a library was considered to contribute to a healthy high street, whereas a high cost credit outlet was considered to be detrimental.

The report, which was first carried out in 2015, found that London’s unhealthiest high streets had high levels of clustering of fast food outlets, empty shops and bookmakers.

Against this measure, Seven Sisters in Haringey is London’s so-called unhealthiest high street for 2018 – but the borough is also home to London’s healthiest high street in Muswell Hill.

The ten “unhealthiest” London high streets The ten “healthiest” London high streets
1. West Green Road, Seven Sisters, Haringey

1. Muswell Hill, Haringey

2. Roman Road (West), Tower Hamlets

2. Hornchurch, Havering

3. Thornton Heath, Croydon


3. Pinner, Harrow

4. Angel Edmonton, Enfield

4. St John’s Wood, City of Westminster

5. South Norwood, Croydon

5. Temple Fortune, Barnet

6. New Addington, Croydon

6. Hampstead, Camden

7. Neasden, Brent

7. Kingsbury, Brent/Harrow

8. Harlesden, Brent

8. Whetstone, Barnet

9. Canning Town, Newham

9. Teddington, Richmond upon Thames

10. Rainham, Havering

10. Beckenham, Bromley

Shirley Cramer CBE, chief executive at the Royal Society for Public Health, said: “When our time and money are converted into a loss at the bookmaker, a tan from a sunbed, a high cost loan or a bucket of fried chicken, the high street is enabling and supporting poor health behaviours.

“At a time when the high street is struggling and every week brings news of another household name going into administration, it is time for a fresh look at what the high street means to us and what it might be like in the future.”

The report calls for business rates to be cut for shops that try to improve the public’s health and for the government to provide local authorities with the power and support to restrict the opening of new betting shops and other unhealthy outlets where there are already clusters.

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