Free fuel causes traffic jams

Traffic into and along Shedden Road was badly backed up on Friday morning when a radio station organised a free fuel giveaway at the Texaco petrol station.

Seven police officers were deployed to help direct traffic flow as motorists queued up to claim $20 worth of fuel each from music station X107.1FM in the first of four giveaway Fridays.

Police spokeswoman Deborah Denis said the giveaway had caused no major problems ‘other than the traffic’, and said additional officers had been placed on duty to deal with the expected heavy early morning traffic.

The first driver showed up at the petrol station at 5.45am for the giveaway which started at 7am.

The free fuel was given to the first 30 drivers who turned up.

Because traffic was so heavy for the hour-long giveaway that started at 7am, police advised the organisers to hand out numbers to the first 30 drivers and then start turning away the rest.

The radio station had asked police to attend, in anticipation of a large turnout.

‘The police have been amazing,’ said Phil Vinciullo, network promotions and marketing manager of dms Broadcasting, which owns the radio station. ‘They told us to hand out numbers to cars because we didn’t want to hold up traffic too much.’

He added: ‘This hasn’t been done here before. We didn’t know how many to expect. We timed how many vehicles could be filled in an hour at two pumps and estimated it’d be about 30.’

Mr. Vinciullo said he expected even more people to turn out for next week’s free giveaway.

Craig Ebanks, owner of the Shedden Road Texaco said drivers were given fuel from the self-serve pumps, at a cost of $5.05 per gallon, to ensure they got value for money.

‘With petrol prices going up each week, we wanted to do something positive,’ he said.

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