The new United service station on Ocean Beach Rd at Umina Beach is set to open before Christmas, with Peninsula Chamber of Commerce hopeful it might lead to a reduction in inflated fuel pricing in the area.

A completion date has been set for December 7, weather permitting, with a spokesperson for United Petroleum confirming that even with unforeseen hold-ups, the bowsers should be operating well before Christmas.

The service station has been in the pipeline for almost four years, with several alterations to consent being made along the way.

It will contain four refuelling bays (double sided bowsers) and associated fuel canopy, an ancillary service store and two tenancies (yet to be confirmed).

It will also have an automatic car wash bay with a 2.4m high acoustic fence.

The service station and convenience store will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will employ two staff.

The site originally contained a service station, two homes and vacant land.

Chamber of Commerce president, Matthew Wales, said he was hopeful the new service station would maintain similar pricing to its other nearest outlet, just 6km away at Empire Bay.

“Pricing at United Empire Bay is almost consistently 20 cents per litre cheaper than on the Peninsula and I can’t imagine prices would differ much between the two outlets,” he said.

“I can only expect their prices will be similar and therefore will place a significant amount of pressure on other operators to match them.

“I have been given no reason why there is such a difference in prices between the Peninsula and other areas 5-10km away.

“If United doesn’t maintain a similar price structure to other operators, I will feel we are being gouged.

The United Petroleum spokesperson said the company “always tried to be the cheapest” and customers could expect very competitive prices when the servo opens it bowsers.

With two other major service station upgrades underway at Memorial Ave, Ettalong and Rawson Rd, Woy Woy (where a 7-Eleven is being installed), Wales said the Peninsula would welcome “as many petrol outlets as we can manage”.

“This activity shows major brands have a lot of confidence in the Peninsula market and this is also reflected in the improving quality of offerings,” he said.

“There has clearly been a significant shift in demographics with younger families influencing market decisions.

“We are seeing some very trendy renos, particularly in Umina Beach and it is wonderful to see older homes being repurposed.”

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