Port Stephens motorists will be spoiled for choice at the petrol pumps with the council approving a Mobil service station in the Salamander Bay shopping precinct at its meeting held last Tuesday night.
When fully operational, the 24-hour servo, also comprising a convenience store, will become the third petrol station in close proximity to the town's major shopping centre, joining the Coles Shell and a Woolworths Caltex. The Mobil site is located on a corner lot between Terminus Parade and Bagnall Beach Road.
Owner Stephen Moore, who addressed the council at its August 27 meeting, said that a third service station would provide more competition resulting in cheaper prices for consumers.
"Currently the major supermarkets have a duopoly on prices in Salamander Bay, a third competitor will mean lower prices at the pumps," Mr Moore said.
"Our only concern with the DA consent is the restriction of vehicles exiting onto Terminus Parade. Whilst we understand that motorists may experience high traffic volumes exiting the shopping centre between 5 and 6pm weekdays, we are of the belief that there would be 23 hours of the day where the traffic volumes would not be excessive.
"To restrict egress onto Terminus Parade will significantly impact the service stations projections and ultimately what enticed us to purchase this site from council in the beginning. We feel it is harsh and unjustifiable to have a 24-hour restriction on one of our driveways when ultimately there is probably only 30-60 minutes per day where it could potentially be problematic."
Mr Moore suggested that during the middle of the day when the Mobil site and Terminus Parade are not under peak demand "it would be convenient to allow for customers to exit onto Terminus Parade and turn either north or south at the traffic signals".
Despite his pleas, Mr Moore's call for a probationary trial period or restricting prohibiting vehicles exiting onto Terminus Parade weekdays from 5-6pm was rejected by the councillors, due to "the risk of conflict with traffic on the advice of the Traffic Committee".