When announcing the hydrogen taxi
scheme recently the Mayor could hardly
have envisioned starting a scenario straight from the script of BBC television Twenty-Twelve.
“A vision to promote innovative zero and low emission technologies in the capital to clean London’s air and tackle pollution” was announced.
In the spirit of zero emissions five hydrogen-fuelled Olympic taxis have been operating during the Games shuttling VIPs and guests of the Mayor between venues.
The one flaw in this well meaning initiative was that due to its proximity to the Olympic Park the hydrogen service station at the Lee Interchange has been closed for security reasons. This has meant that the closest fuelling station is in Swindon 65 miles away.
Twice a week the five clean emission cabs are hoisted onto the back of a dirty diesel-fuelled car transporter to make the journey to be refuelled and brought back to London.
The irony is that if the cabs were to complete the 130-mile round trip unaided they would not have enough fuel to drive the VIPs around London, necessitating a return to Swindon.
As a further dent in the green credentials of London a fleet of hydrogen buses that operate along the South Bank in London have also been affected by the closure.