Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

A forecourt first... the filling station without any staff

Northern Ireland’s first fully automated petrol station has opened.

GO began trading at Moneymore Road in Cookstown last Thursday, offering unleaded petrol at 107.9p per litre and diesel at 119.9p.

The new station, which is part of Cookstown-based energy company LCC Group, claims to offer the added benefits of being time-efficient and convenient.

That’s because the station is run solely by innovative pay-at- pump technology — avoiding ‘down time’ normally spent queuing in a shop — and it is also open 24 hours.

LCC Group director Daniel Loughran said the new site represented a breakthrough for Northern Ireland.

“The site is fully automated which means there’s no requirement for it to be manned or have an adjoining shop,” he said.

“While this is an unusual system for Northern Ireland, it’s very simple to use and translates into competitive fuel prices for our customers. Given the current economic climate, we felt it was the right time to introduce it.”

Mr Loughran said it was time to give the retail giants a run for their money, especially given the current economic downturn.

“While it’s perhaps a brave move to take on the major multiples, we’re pleased to break their monopolisation of the market, and add a bit of healthy competition,” he said.

“The new forecourt is very easy to use — customers simply drive to a pump where they’ll be prompted to insert a credit or debit card, enter their pin number, fill their tank as required, replace the nozzle, collect a receipt and drive off.

“We accept all major credit and debit cards and supply a complete fuel package including premium unleaded, ultra low sulphur diesel, super unleaded and red diesel. So far, the response has been fantastic and we’ve seen a steady stream of customers with many taking advantage of our 24- hour opening.”

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