outdoor running

Study names the top 10 best cities for outdoor running in the UK

With 5.9 million people going for a run twice on a monthly basis in England, running is undoubtedly very popular.

And with spring being just around the corner, many of us are looking forward to being able to enjoy the outdoors again. But which cities across the UK are the best for outdoor runners?

As part of a wider study on the greenest cities, the team at salary sacrifice company, The Electric Car Scheme, has compared data from the UK’s top cities, looking at the emissions per km² (kt CO₂e), the air pollution score and the number of parks, to determine the best cities for outdoor runners.

The best cities for outdoor running

RankCityNumber of parks per 10,000 peopleEmissions per km² (kt COe)Air pollution score (out of 100)
1Edinburgh1.637.625.75
2Leeds1.786.445.95
3Swansea0.702.320.00
4Sunderland0.837.912.50
5Sheffield1.125.430.21
6Preston0.484.815.62
7Bradford1.645.354.17
8Belfast1.0610.323.12
9Plymouth1.1510.426.19
10Newport0.294.617.86

Key findings from the study:

  • Edinburgh is named the UK’s cleanest city, with low emission levels (6.4 per km²) and air pollution score (25.75 out of 100).
  • Leeds ranks as the second cleanest city in the UK and boasts the highest number of parks per 10,000 inhabitants, 1.78.
  • Sunderland boasts the lowest air pollution score of the ranking, 12.50 out of 100.
  • Despite a high number of parks (1,000), London is unsurprisingly named the dirtiest city in the UK, with high emission levels (23.5 per km²) and a high air pollution score (62.90 out of 100).

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