I am always shocked when I go to a petrol station. The layout- in the UK, at least- seems to be fairly standard. But it always seems to me to be incredibly inefficient.
These are the issues:
- When you have two pumps- one in front of the other- and the second pump is in use, nobody can access the first pump.
- When you pay for your petrol, you can get stuck in a queue at the checkout.
- Nowadays many petrol stations also have a shop, so many people in there won't even be buying petrol at all, but will delay petrol-buyers further.
In the diagram below, pumps 1,3,5 and 7 are all not in use despite a queue of traffic down the road waiting.
Whatsmore, the four drivers using the other pumps are having to queue in the shop to pay*, while the lady at the front of the queue is holding up the whole station by buying her weekly shop, and a bunch of scratch-cards.
Can anybody suggest ways to make the process more efficient, without expanding the size of forecourt or employing more staff to take payment?
*I'm aware that some petrol stations now allow paying at the pump directly. This definitely helps, but my experience is that people tend not to use that facility if they can avoid it.