A PIONEERING hydrogen bus went into service in London this week amid an ongoing planning row over refuelling stations.
Three buses will run on a route from Ilford to Holborn as part of a nine city, Europe wide public-private scheme to test fuel-cell vehicles.
However service operator First Group's request for planning permission to set up a refuelling station has been refused by the London Borough of Havering.
The station would incorporate an underground cryogenic storage tank for the liquified hydrogen used to power the buses.
But participant oil company BP's wish to incorporate a petrol service station means extending on to neighbouring Green Belt land.
BP has appealed the decision which will now go to public inquiry in May.
For the moment, the buses will be powered from compressed gas cylinders at a temporary facility in Hackney.
BP said this does not allow them to test the liquid gas system which is a key point of the London tests.
INFOPLUS www. nceplus.co.uk