Record crowds create Araluen traffic angst

Huge crowds have delighted in the annual Araluen tulip spectacular in recent weeks but locals are concerned about traffic congestion.
Huge crowds have delighted in the annual Araluen tulip spectacular in recent weeks but locals are concerned about traffic congestion.

THE Araluen Botanic Park has had 12,000 more visitors this year, so far, after it notched up 50,472 visitors this month.

But there are concerns that the large number of visitors had led to increased congestion along Croydon Road during the peak tulip season, particularly on weekends.

A total of 40,676 people visited the park up to September 18, compared to 26,474 at the same time last year.

“We attract thousands of international visitors each year with the majority of our visitors coming from the Asia-Pacific region,” spokeswoman Tenielle Doutre said.

“We get more international visitors than interstate visitors.”

Ms Doutre said Araluen also continued to be a popular family attraction for day trippers.

“We have been here for over 25 years now however we still have that element of a hidden gem in Perth’s Hills,” she said.

“The gardens look stunning and our staff work really hard to maintain and improve them each year.

“The park is a beautiful place to visit at all times of the year and I think Perth people are starting to recognise this.”

Roleystone locals have posted their frustrations about delays and lengthy queues during the tulip season on a local Facebook forum.

“My family has lived here for over 50 years and year after year there are dramas with the traffic at tulip time,” one resident said.

“It is simply dangerous.

“In the 20 or so minutes I sat in traffic waiting to get home today I witnessed two cars turn around across the middle of the road and go back the other way.

“Croydon Road is a windy road and any car coming the other way would have just ploughed straight into them.”

She called for better traffic management and another resident called for a shuttle bus service.

“What would be nice is a Tourism WA grant to provide better public transport options over spring time,” another wrote.

However, a resident who has lived in the Araluen Estate for 16 years said the traffic congestion only lasted a few weeks, the festival supported local businesses and was a wonderful showcase for the Armadale region.