This week’s reading exercise is an essay on the causes of traffic problems and some possible solutions, taken from the scolaradvisor.com website. This is too long to be an IELTS-format essay, but contains many of the same elements.
Read the following essay and answer the following:
Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer? Answer Yes, No, or Not Given.
- Poor practices of employers are one of the main reasons why traffic congestion occurs.
- As the number of cars increases, so does the level of pollution
- Cities have an unlimited capacity to expand into green belt spaces
- Congestion almost always occurs when people are travelling to and from work.
- People are forced away from public transport by inconvenient timetables.
- Governments should invest in affordable public transport and better infrastructure.
Cities like New York, London, and Paris have all had to deal with thousands of cars running through their streets each day. Traffic congestion is a big problem for everyone within the city. The main reasons why traffic congestion occurs are more cars, poor road management, and poor practices on behalf of employers.
One of the main reasons why there’s more congestion is due to more cars on the road. The adult population is increasing and therefore more people want their own personal transport to get around with. As the number of cars increase the chance of congestion also increases. It’s why in smaller towns and villages congestion is almost unheard of.
This is coupled with a lack of proper infrastructure. Councils and national governments fail to act on the looming threat of heavy congestion until it happens. The city doesn’t expand along with an increasingly car reliant population. A single street with a lane on each side before might not suffice in ten years after the population has increased. Authorities often fail to convert this into a dual carriageway.
Alternate routes are also a problem. Cities have limited capacity to expand due to poor funding and planning restrictions preventing building on green belt spaces. Cities are forced to work with the routes they already have. If they can’t increase the number of lanes it leads to congestion.
Employers can also play a part in dealing with congestion. Congestion almost always happens when people are travelling to and from work. Traffic congestion has eased in recent years as a result of growing unemployment and the introduction of more flexible work hours.
By adhering to the traditional 9-5 routines, there’s a greater chance of congestion. Everyone has to travel to and from work at the same time each day.
A lack of public transport, or poor public transport options, will also cause problems. If there isn’t enough buses, trams, or local trains people are forced to take their cars to work. The ratio of passengers to vehicles decreases, whereas if they were able to take the bus people would feel less of a need to drive their cars.
In many places, commuters are forced away from public transport by the private companies which run them. Increasing fare prices, especially on the trains, make driving a car with its associated high fuel costs cheaper than public transport. By pushing people back to their cars again they only exasperate the congestion problem.
In conclusion, congestion is mainly caused by a desire for people to drive their cars coupled with a failure by local government to act. If they invested in more affordable public transport options and a better infrastructure the incidence of congestion would decrease in major cities.
As always, feedback and comments are welcome.
The IELTS Guy