The above title is not some strange football result, but instead the current number of battery driven electric buses on the roads in these two places.
For further information about the recent rollout of eight buses in Milton Keynes, which run entirely on electricity, do take a look at this excellent BBC report.
What is happening in Milton Keynes is a brilliant development, but as a London politician I find it somewhat embarrassing that a town with a population that has just over a quarter million people should be leading the way in introducing electric buses, when London has a population of 8.4 million people and a massive bus fleet of 8500 buses.
Yet there are reasons for this paradox, with the primary explanation being the current Mayor of London.
Boris Johnson has made bold claims about his supposed support for electric vehicles, but in practice he has given pitiful real support to the adoption of electric buses or taxis. In fact even his record in supporting electric cars is poor.
Understanding the difference between his public support in principle for electric vehicles, and his actual poor record, is not that complex.
It is worth remembering that not only is Boris Johnson a former motoring correspondent of GQ magazine, but he also has to appeal to a Conservative audience, which too often sees any measure to change our polluting, diesel and petrol driven lifestyle as an attack on their basic freedoms.
So for Boris Johnson it is politically convenient to say he is in favour of electric vehicles, but to do very little in practice to support their adoption. He can superficially appear green, whilst continuing to win the petrol-head vote.
Examining the poor take-up so far of electric cars in London I expect part of the problem has been the poor publicity surrounding electric charging points, combined with the fact that so few of them provide the rapid recharging facilities that modern electric vehicles need.
However, the slow adoption of electric cars is only a small part of the problem. Of course the introduction of private electric cars is welcome, but in London there is a far more urgent priority – that of ensuring that we have a big switch towards the adoption of electric buses, taxis and vans. It is these vehicles, almost entirely fuelled by diesel, which often cover the most miles on our roads and without question generate the most severe air pollution. And at this stage it is worth remembering that even hybrid buses – including the Mayor’s incredibly expensive ‘new bus for London’ – are still diesel powered vehicles. Only fully electric buses create zero exhaust emissions.
If anyone wants evidence of the impact of diesel buses and taxis just look at the record of Oxford Street in London. Just a few days into the new year the harmful pollution levels of nitrogen dioxide on Oxford Street breached annual pollution limits.
These pollution levels have a significant impact on people’s health, especially for people with asthma and other respiratory problems, not to mention heart conditions. Children and older people are especially affected by fine particulate matter pollution (PM10 and PM2.5) and by nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
Yet on large parts of Oxford Street the only vehicles that are permitted are buses and taxis, providing the clearest evidence of the cumulative impact that these vehicles have on London’s air pollution levels.
And while, as a London Assembly member, my concern obviously relates to London, it is worth noting that air pollution is a problem facing many other urban areas throughout the UK.
So the message is quite simple. Electric vehicles of all types are without question the future, but let’s ensure we make rapid progress in switching the most polluting diesel vehicles first. A big switch to electric buses, taxis and vans should be a number one priority for anyone who wants to tackle the immense health problems created by air pollution in cities across the UK.
Stephen Knight is a Liberal Democrat member of the London Assembly and can be followed on Twitter at @StephenKnight1.