Town fuel station to close for week
DRIVERS in Portishead will have to drive out of town to fill up with fuel next week.
The Waitrose garage at Cabstand is to close on Sunday night for a refurbishment.
The work is part of a changeover which will see Shell provide fuel for Waitrose filling stations across the country.
The garage is the only filling station in Portishead and the work will mean motorists will have to travel to nearby towns or to the motorway services on the M5 at Gordano for petrol or diesel.
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A spokesman for Waitrose said: "We have worked with Shell to ensure we minimise the impact on customers but the closure of the forecourt is necessary to allow the forecourts to be re-branded as Shell, with new totems, re-branded pumps and canopy.
"The shop will remain under Waitrose branding and will continue to be staffed by Waitrose Partners."
He said the filling station would reopen next Saturday at 6am.
Plans for a second fuel station have been put forward as part of a retail development in the town.
Furniture company Arthur Llewellyn Jenkins wants to build a new store, including a filling station, on a site at Gordano Gate off Wyndham Way.
The retailer already has permission to build an 80,000 sq ft store and warehouse on the site, which is next to a proposed new Sainsbury's store.
Supermarket giant Sainsburys had also hoped to find a site for a filling station as part of its plan to build a new store on land at Serbert Way.
But as yet a suitable site has not been found.
In the past motorists have been forced to travel out of town for fuel when the Waitrose garage's pumps have run dry. On a number of occasions it has run out of diesel, leaving motorists with near empty tanks to travel elsewhere to fill up.
Portishead councillor David Pasley said the five-day closure highlighted the need for another petrol station in the town.
He said: "The Waitrose garage is the only place in Portishead where people can get fuel.
"I would have hoped that Waitrose would have been sympathetic to this and the needs of the local community and kept at least one row of pumps open during the refurbishment.
"This again highlights the need for a second fuel station in Portishead. It just can't come soon enough."
Portishead currently has a population of around 22,000, which is expected to rise to 30,000 when all the new housing developments are complete.