Our theme for this week’s exercises will be transport, a topic that features regularly in IELTS exams.
To assist with today’s reading passage, as well as with the other exercises later in the week, we have prepared some vocabulary exercises based on 78 words. Click on the following link, and complete the multiple choice questions to check your knowledge. There is no need to submit the answers for review – this is a self-check exercise.
Once you have completed the vocabulary review, you are ready to begin the Reading exercise.
This week we are practising the multiple-choice format. Before you read, look through the questions carefully, underlining any key words. This will help you to identify the relevant sections of the reading passage. Don’t forget that the questions are sequential, so the order of the questions matches the order that you will find them in the passage.
If you are unsure about the answer to any question, leave it and move on to the next question. You have completed all the questions that you can you can come back and review any unanswered ones.
There is no need to submit your responses for this exercise, as we will publish the correct answers at the end of the week.
You should typically spend about 20 minutes reading the passage.
OK, so let’s turn to the reading passage.
Read the following passage and answer the following six questions.
Choose the correct answer; A, B or C.
1. As adult populations increase:
A. People use more public transport
B. Pollution levels rise
C. People want their own personal transport
D. Road maintenance becomes more important
2. Authorities often fail to convert single lane roads into:
A. Dual carriageways
3. Congestion almost always occurs:
A. When traffic accidents take place.
B. When people are travelling to and from work
C. When weather conditions are poor
D. When there is a lack of infrastructure
4. People would be less inclined to drive their cars if:
A. The cost of petrol was too high
B. They were aware of the impact of pollution
C. They lived closer to their workplaces
D. If buses were available
5. Commuters are often forced away from public transport by:
A. High fares
B. Crowded trains
C. Poor timetables
D. Frequent breakdowns
6. The main causes of congestion are people’s desire to drive cars and:
A. Weak infrastructure
B. Government’s failure to act
C. Population growth.
D. Narrow roads
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 exacerbate 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.
The IELTS Guy