Researchers from Ordnance Survey (OS), Britain’s national mapping authority, have confirmed that Bangor has the longest High Street in Wales, measuring at 1265m.
Bangor misses out on the longest high street in Great Britain, calculated using the OS methodology, that award goes to London Road in Southend-on-Sea at 2983m. The longest high street in Scotland is Dumbarton Road in Glasgow at 1706m.
OS defined a High Street as a location people visit to shop, eat and drink, which they classify as ‘retail’. Looking for all addresses classified under retail within their AddressBase dataset, the OS Data Office created algorithms to make a decision on what a cluster is. To avoid naming small rows of shops as ‘high streets’, and to keep the data clean, we decided that a minimum of 15 retail addresses would be required to create a high street, provided they are within 150 metres of each other.
During the last year, OS has been working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Office of National Statistics to improve the understanding of high streets.
The importance of high streets has also been acknowledged by Public Health England through their Healthy High Streets research, published at the beginning of 2018, highlights how a healthy high street provides “Accessible, safe, communal spaces foster social interaction and strong local economies and can be used to create healthier, safer and more cohesive local communities”. It also drew the conclusion that the “unequal distribution of healthy and unhealthy high streets is likely to contribute to health inequalities”.
This is a view echoed by retailer, Sir John Timpson, who speaking last December to the BBC about high streets said: “It’s not just about shopping. It’s about communities and creating a hub for entertainment, medical facilities, housing.”
OS also identified Bangor Pier as one of the top ten longest Piers in the UK officially measuring 458m and featured Bangor in their Ten favourite town and city walks.
OS described Bangor as being: “Surrounded on three sides by hills and on the other by sea, Bangor may not be the most accessible of cities, but offers all manner of walks for those who make it.
“Short walks to the coast and along Bangor’s Victorian pier offer beginners the chance to cut their teeth on North Wales‘s famed hills, although much longer jaunts across the Menai Bridge to Anglesey await those who want to try a flatter but longer journey.
“Culture is also accounted for on walks in Bangor, with its historic university and cathedral being particular points of interest.”