SCOTLAND’S national bard features in more than 470 road names across the UK, new research has found on the anniversary of his birthday today.

Glasgow has the highest concentration of streets named after Robert Burns with 72 featuring his name, according to Royal Mail analysis released on the eve of Burns Night.

The town of Ayr, near his birthplace of Alloway, has the second highest number with 25, followed by London on 19.

The Ayrshire village of Mauchline, where he lived for a time, and Greenock in Inverclyde are joint fourth with 16.

Royal Mail said the poet has inspired 720 street names in total around the UK, with some addresses influenced by his work, people he knew and the food and drink associated with Burns Night.

They include Red Rose Lane in Pentre, Wales, Tam O’Shanter Drive in Stirling, Haggis Gap near Cambridge and Neepsend Lane in Sheffield.

Steve Rooney, head of Royal Mail’s Address Management Unit, said: “Royal Mail delivers mail to over 30 million addresses, six days a week.

“This puts us in a unique position of having access to all the brilliant street names across the UK.

“Robert Burns and his poems have clearly inspired a raft of street names across Scotland and the rest of the UK, demonstrating the important role he plays in the UK’s history.”

The research also found streets inspired by women in the poet’s life including Jean Armour Avenue in Edinburgh, Jean Armour Drive in nearby Dalkeith, Midlothian - which is next to Robert Burns Mews - and a Clarinda Crescent in Mauchline.

Royal Mail’s Address Management Unit analysed more than 30 million addresses to establish the extent of the poet’s impact on street names around the country.

People around the globe are preparing to celebrate Burns Night tonight to celebrate the anniversary of the poet’s birth on that date in 1759.

Global Google searches for “Burns Night” has rocketed by 49% since 2016,according to data provider SEMrush.

Searches for “How to celebrate Burns Night?” has surged by 158% in the same period.

The number of people looking up the date of Burns Night and the ingredients of a Burns Supper also shot up.

However, the research also showed that thousands of Scots still have to look up the date of the bard’s birthday.

SEMrush said the findings indicate a growing trend of interest in Scotland’s national poet, who was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, on 25 January 1759, and his day of celebration.

Olga Andrienko, Head of Marketing at SEMrush, said yesterday: “Increased global searches for Burns Night have risen by nearly 50 per cent over the past three years, which shows people across the globe are becoming far more interested in this traditional celebration.

“As the rest of the world gears up to stand behind the Scots in celebration of their famous poet, it’s interesting to note the soaring number of searches for ‘how to celebrate Burns Night’, has almost tripled.”

The trend suggests today will be the biggest Burn’s Night yet, with people across the world celebrating.

Scottish searches for “Burns Night” increased by 49% from 40500 searches in January 2016 to 60500 searches in January 2019.

Across the world, there were 510,400 global searches for “Burns Night” in January four years ago 2016, rising to 759500 in the same month last year.

Global searches for “How to celebrate Burns Night” by 158% from 400 to 1030 during the same period.

Searches for “When is Burns Night” shot up by 27% while searches for “Traditional Burns Supper” and “Burns Supper poems” each rose by 39%.

There was a 50% increase in searches for “address to the haggis”, “Selkirk Grace” and “Address to the lassies”.

In Scotland, Burns’ own country, remarkably there were 6180 searches for “When is Burns Night” last January 2019.