He said some drivers heading to the show were getting so frustrated they were intentionally parking in illegal spots and walking on foot to the grounds.
“Somebody who parked outside my place copped a $110 ticket,” he said.
Moonee Valley council, which does not capture Flemington Racecourse or the showgrounds but does oversee Ascot Vale, rushed through an urgent motion at its Wednesday night council meeting to call on the state government for help.
“It’s the only way that we’re not going to have bedlam around Ascot Vale and that will potentially lead to some really unsafe outcomes,” said Greens councillor Rose Iser who put forward the motion to request that public transport to the show be made free this weekend and more trains, trams and buses be put on to accommodate the crowds.
Iser said residents and councillors were taken by surprise by the traffic conditions, suggesting part of the problem could have been that, “people are using their cars a little bit more than pre-COVID”.
“It’s going to be absolutely essential that public transport is the mode of transport on this coming Saturday, which is the day of the Turnbull Stakes [race] when no parking will be available at the racecourse,” she told the meeting.
Wyndham Vale resident Goldy Kumar spent nearly two hours in traffic just outside the showgrounds last Thursday trying to get into the on-site parking at the racecourse.
“The line to get into the show from Ballarat Road was ridiculous,” she said.
“Only two people [were] traffic managing the area upon entry. This was after 100 minutes roughly, mind you. Once we entered the showground premises, we were in queues waiting to pay for parking. This ordeal was further 40 minutes, roughly.
“Whilst in the queue, we saw pedestrians were walking on the opposite road towards the show parking area with oncoming traffic. No one in the vicinity monitoring [or] patrolling the area.”
She said her family would have used public transport if it was free for ticketholders and said show organisers needed to do more to communicate that driving was not recommended. She also said she thought show capacity needed to be reviewed.
Moonee Valley mayor Samantha Byrne said she wanted to see the state government make public transport free for ticket holders in future years.
Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll and organisers from the Melbourne Royal Show have been contacted for comment.