A popular Longreach Caltex servo – for years an outback oasis for hungry and weary road train drivers – is to close its doors at the end of the month.
It’s unclear whether anyone is to take over the Ilfracombe Road site, leaving truckies with no where to pull up, use the bathroom facilities, and get a hot meal late at night within almost 400km.
There are five petrol stations in Longreach, but this truckies’ favourite was the only one that provided adequate parking for road trains and offered drivers hot shower facilities, reports the ABC Western Qld.
“You can’t park anywhere down [at the other petrol stations] and they’re not roadhouses, they’re only service stations,” said truckie Robert Turvey, who has stopped there almost weekly during his 36-year career.
“They sell fuel and drinks and maybe a loaf of bread, but you can’t actually get a meal.”
The closure means there won’t be a roadhouse with road train parking for more than four hours between Blackall and Winton.
Turvey told the ABC he was concerned more roadhouses would be shut in favour of unstaffed, self-serve fuel pumps.
“You always thought it would be there forever,” he said.
Ampol, the new corporate and forecourt name for Caltex, responded in a statement saying motorists would be able to visit the company’s smaller Longreach store at 55 Duck Street to “to access all grades of fuel and diesel products”.