LOW emission Olympic taxis are being sent to Swindon to refuel after the hydrogen filling station in London was closed for safety reasons.

Three hydrogen fuelled black cabs are being driven on a diesel-powered car transporter this morning on a 130-mile round trip from London to South Marston for a three minute fill up at Honda .

The hydrogen station serving vehicles near the Olympic Park has been closed for safety and security reasons during the games, meaning the South Marston station, which is operated by industrial gases company BOC, is the closest.

Nick Rolf, innovation manager for hydrogen systems at BOC, said: “They are going to fill up twice this week, on Tuesday and Thursday or Friday. “Our understanding is that they are not driving, they are coming on the back of a transporter. If they drive to Swindon they’re not going to have any fuel left by the tme they get back.

“They will be driven back on the transporter and then be distributed in London.”

Two other London black cabs, which have been hailed by London Mayor Boris Johnson as the future of sustainable motoring, have been affected by the closure at the Lea Interchange.

Nick said he was unsure what was happening to them.

“We have known the taxis are coming here for about two weeks, we were asked if they could come. We have been waiting for the taxi operator to tell us when they are going to arrive,” he said.

A fleet of hydrogen buses that operate along the South Bank in London have also been affected by the closure.

A fuelling station at Heathrow should open before the end of the Games, according to the consortium HyTEC, which owns the taxis.

The UK’s first open access hydrogen vehicle refuelling station was officially opened at Honda in September.

Built and operated by industrial gases company BOC, a member of The Linde Group, the venture is the result of a partnership between Honda, BOC and Forward Swindon.

The new station is open to anyone developing or using hydrogen-powered vehicles.

It can fill vehicles at both 350 bar and 700 bar, the two standard filling pressures adopted by the world’s major vehicle manufacturers.