Irvine High Street is the third most polluted street in the country according to new data.

Figures from Friends of the Earth Scotland show that the North Ayrshire street was the third highest offender in terms of particulate matter at 11.35 micrograms per cubic metre.

Only Salamander Street in Edinburgh (15.93) and Bainsford Main Street in Falkirk (12.2) recorded worse figures with the legal limit 18 micrograms per cubic metre.

Glasgow’s Hope Street remained the most polluted street in Scotland for nitrogen dioxide.

However, the data did show 2020 was the first year that Scotland did not record illegal levels of air pollution largely down to restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s air pollution campaigner Gavin Thomson said: “It’s a huge pity that it took a deadly pandemic to bring our air quality within legal limits.

“Scotland’s car-choked transport system was brought to a halt in Spring, and this is why our annual averages of pollution are much lower than previous years.

“Any improvements in air quality in Scotland have been short-lived with traffic quickly returning to pre-pandemic levels.

“We need to remember that pollution damages our health through long-term exposure, such as living near a main road throughout your childhood.

“The reduced pollution for a couple of months during the strictest lockdown is unlikely to have many long-term health benefits.

“The health links between air pollution and Covid-19 should push us to redouble our efforts to clean up our air and protect public health.”