The town of Slough, memorably panned by poet John Betjeman, is proving pretty unpopular with motorists too, according to a survey.

The Berkshire town is one of the least car-friendly towns in the UK, the survey by Virgin Money Car Insurance found.

Slough came equal 61st in the 65-town table, with its neighbouring Berkshire town of Reading finishing 65th and last, with Oxford in 64th spot.

The table was compiled on the basis of a number of criteria including cost of petrol, parking charges and vehicle crime.

In the late 1930s, Betjeman wrote: "Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough; It isn't fit for humans, now."

More than 70 years later, the Virgin Money index showed that Slough, along with Cardiff and Manchester, had a high level of vehicle crime.

Reading replaced London as the least-car-friendly town, while St Helens on Merseyside was the most-friendly one for the second year in a row.

Second in this year's table was West Bromwich in the West Midlands which rose from 34th place in last year's list.

Telford in Shropshire, a previous winner, was in third place this year, with Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands fourth and Sunderland fifth.

At the bottom of the table, Oxford was last-but-one in 64th place, with Cardiff 63rd and Nottingham equal 61st with Slough.

Grant Bather of Virgin Money said: "The cost of petrol has risen by almost 20% over the past year due to VAT and fuel duty increases.

"Combined with the constant issue of parking problems, speeding tickets and vehicle crime, UK drivers can be forgiven for feeling as though they need to steer clear of urban areas."

He went on: "However, not all towns and cities are the same and many local authorities do their best to ensure drivers aren't treated like second-class citizens.

"Clearly cars shouldn't rule the road, but motorists' views certainly need to be taken into consideration and St. Helens has successfully done this."

These are the 10 most car-friendly towns:

1. St. Helens, Merseyside

2. West Bromwich, West Midland

3. Telford, Shropshire

4. Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands

5. Sunderland

6. Oldham, Greater Manchester

7. Rotherham, South Yorkshire

8. Stockport, Greater Manchester

9. Norwich, Norfolk

10. Swindon, Wiltshire

These are the bottom 10, with Reading in 65th place as the least-friendly car town:

65. Reading, Berkshire

64. Oxford

63. Cardiff

61= Slough, Berkshire

61= Nottingham

60. Edinburgh

59. London

58. Manchester

57. Southampton

56. Sheffield