Ti­rau gets boost with pro­posed ser­vice sta­tion

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PU¯RONGORONGO -

A new ser­vice sta­tion in Ti­rau is the first po­ten­tial ma­jor devel­op­ment in the pipe­line af­ter news that a by­pass will make Ti­rau the first stop south of Auck­land.

South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil is pro­cess­ing a re­source con­sent for a BP ser­vice sta­tion to be built where the old Ti­rau Panel Beater build­ing used to stand.

BP Oil New Zealand com­mu­ni­ca­tions and ex­ter­nal af­fairs manager Jonty Mills said the idea had ‘‘ been in the pipe­line’’ as a po­ten­tial BP devel­op­ment for a few years, based on the knowl­edge that the Waikato ex­press­way was im­mi­nent

‘‘Ti­rau is a main thor­ough­fare and this site will be the first and/or last town for cus­tomers head­ing south or north be­fore hit­ting the ex­press­way.’’

He said the site would com­pli­ment BP’s ex­ist­ing net­work and will of­fer cus­tomers a full BP Connect and Wild Bean Cafe should the devel­op­ment go ahead.

‘‘At this point the devel­op­ment is only pro­posed and sub­ject to gain­ing re­source con- sent which is un­der way.’’

They would not dis­close the cost of the devel­op­ment but Mills said it was a ‘‘sig­nif­i­cant project’’ that would cre­ate em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Hobbs said any devel­op­ment is good.

‘‘It has been proven that ser­vice sta­tions par­tic­u­larly ones like BP with all the ameni­ties do re­ally en­cour­age peo­ple to stop.’’

He said he found the lo­ca­tion in­ter­est­ing.

‘‘It would be more ap­pro­pri­ate for north-bound traf­fic which is the one in­ter­est­ing con­cept be­cause Ti­rau will be the first stop for south- bound traf­fic [af­ter Auck­land].’’

He said they would need to con­sult NZTA on the traf­fic dis­rup­tion par­tic­u­larly as large amounts of south-bound traf­fic may want to cross the state high­way as a re­sult.

‘‘It will be in­ter­est­ing to see how many peo­ple stop. Driver fa­tigue is a huge is­sue now when you look at the statis­tics and it’s three hours from Auck­land to Ti­rau so it is an ideal stop­ping point.’’

He said with an in­flux in traf­fic there will ‘‘def­i­nitely be the need for more fuel sta­tions’’.

When asked if coun­cil sup­ported the devel­op­ment of a BP, he said ‘‘yes’’.

‘‘At the end of the day what will be will be. The op­por­tu­nity now is for the rest of Ti­rau to get the town look­ing re­ally smart and take ad­van­tage of the peo­ple com­ing through.’’

He said the one good thing about BP was that it was will­ing to work with the coun­cil to en­sure any devel­op­ment was vis­ually ap­peal­ing as well as prac­ti­cal.

He said the devel­op­ment of Ti­rau as a whole is be­ing dis­cussed in coun­cil cham­bers at the mo­ment as part of the town plan­ning process.

‘‘ Coun­cil is work­ing on con­cept plans for all towns in the dis­trict in­clud­ing how we po­si­tion them and make them at­trac­tive.’’

He said it is a part of the longterm plan­ning process that has not been se­ri­ously looked at for 5-10 years.

‘‘We’re just tak­ing it a lit­tle more se­ri­ously this year.’’

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