Five hydrogen fuel cell buses are to be brought to England’s capital and are expected to be in operation from next summer.

The Olympic Delivery Authority has granted planning permission for a hydrogen refuelling facility to be built in East London.

A fleet of five buses will be operated by the First Group, which has been granted the planning permission for the facility to be located at its bus garage on Temple Mills Lane, Leyton.

The five hydrogen hybrid fuel cell buses are due to join Transport for London's (TfL) bus fleet next year, operating on route RV1, which runs between Covent Garden and Tower Gateway.

The buses will be refuelled and maintained at the Temple Mills Lane site.

Kit Malthouse, Chair of the London Hydrogen Partnership and Deputy Mayor for Policing said, “This is excellent news which secures the arrival of five zero-polluting hydrogen buses on London's streets next year.”

“With the right refuelling structure, we can expand our use of hydrogen technology to provide cleaner fuel for transport and greener energy to heat homes and businesses.”

“Hydrogen has massive potential to cut carbon emissions and improve air quality in the Capital to enhance Londoners' quality of life.”

David Brown, Managing Director of Surface Transport commented, “The Mayor and TfL are committed to reducing the impact of public transport on the environment.”

“Gaining planning permission for the refuelling station means we are one step closer to operating hydrogen buses in London.”

Air Products will supply the hydrogen and refuelling equipment, as well as specialist maintenance equipment.

Work is due to start in the New Year, and TfL is also applying for additional funding from the Europe Union to increase the hydrogen bus fleet to eight buses.