The owners of Kent’s newest petrol station made sure they turned heads when a genuine Texas State Trooper cop car turned up to the official opening in Dover today (Monday, July 23).

Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke declared the site officially open and delivered his speech using the cop car’s onboard PA system to welcome VIP guests attending the opening of the Esso service station and Spar convenience store on the A2, adjoining the Whitfield roundabout.

“This is one of the most unusual and fun ways in which I’ve ever made a speech,” he said.

The development breathes new life into an old petrol station site which has stood derelict for 10 years. The substantial investment has created 12 jobs and the 1,600 sq ft store has been welcomed as a real boost to the local community. Further investment is planned at the rear of the filling station, where the company also owns a former car washing business.

oth the service station and the Spar store are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and feature a new canopy, 12 fuel pumps, free ATM, hot food-to-go, Costa coffee and a wide range of fresh foods. The store also has a 24-hour alcohol licence.

The opening was attended by a number of dignitaries including the chairman of Dover District Council and local business leaders. They admired the former Texas State Trooper cop car, the legendary Ford Crown Vic which is familiar to all fans of American TV crime shows and movies. And with the driver in authentic cop uniform, the huge and powerful car proved a real scene-stealer on the service station forecourt.

The entrepreneurs behind the development are Mr Viswanathan Srikrishna, who has 25 years’ experience in the industry and runs two other petrol stations, and Mr Rajamenon and Mr Rajaseelan, who own the nearby Ramada Dover Hotel, the Best Western Plus Dover Marina Hotel & Spa on the seafront and the 1st Choice Care Homes in Whitfield and Shepherdswell.

Mr Rajamenon said: “Our decision to invest further in the Dover district is a reflection of our confidence in the area. We’re excited by the project and we look forward to seeing the business develop.

“The site is in an excellent location and is sure to be popular with both the local community and with the hundreds of thousands of motorists making their way to and from the nearby ferry port every year.”

On Saturday, July 28, the owners will involve people living in Whitfield in the celebration by holding food tastings, a raffle, and food and fuel giveaways.