IELTS Writing Task 2 | Transport delays and long journey times are a widespread phenomenon in many cities

Task 2 | Essay 26
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Transport delays and long journey times are a widespread phenomenon in many cities today.
  • What are the causes of this problem, and how could the situation be improved?
How to answer this essay?
  • Introduction:
  • Paraphrase the overall essay main topic.
  • Write a clear opinion.
  • 1st Body Paragraph
  • Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea.
  • Explain your main idea.
  • Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  • 2nd Body Paragraph
  • Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea.
  • Explain your new main idea.
  • Include specific details and examples.
  • Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  • Conclusion:
  • Summarise your main ideas.
  • Include a final thought.
Model Answer | Marked as Band 8
Cohesive connecting words that improve coherence in writing . Useful less common words that boost fluency in writing .
  • Transport is an essential part of urban life, and lengthy journeys are frustrating and expensive for those concerned. There appear to be two main causes of this, and several possible solutions, as we will explain here.
  • Perhaps the main cause is the lack of investment or funding for infrastructure in the form of high-capacity public transport and increased road space for private vehicles. This means that too many vehicles use the existing network, and congestion is inevitable. We see this in most large cities globally, such as London or Tokyo. Many conurbations also lack finance for transport hubs, such as integrated road and rail facilities which could connect public and private transport, thus reducing bottlenecks. A further cause seems to be the problem of overcrowding in cities, whereby people migrate from the hinterland and settle in urban areas, putting strain on amenities, housing and above all on transport capacity. This means that an already stretched system is often pushed to a critical point, causing cancellations and breakdowns in the technology used, especially in situations of urban sprawl such as in Latin America.
  • Regarding potential solutions, probably the main remedy would be to encourage investment in better infrastructure, for example, through subsidies or public-private partnerships as was tried successfully in Germany during the 1990’s. This enhances the network and fosters a sense of civic pride to everyone’s benefit. Another solution may be to use tax incentives to allow more home working, so that there is less need to commute from the suburbs to the inner city for work. A final response might be the development of more flexible patterns of transport, such as communal car-pooling, which would reduce reliance on existing systems and vehicles.
  • In conclusion, it seems that outdated infrastructure and overcrowding are the key factors behind our transport frustrations. Possible solutions would involve better funding, and also innovations in ways of working and travelling to reduce the burden on the system.
322 words

Useful Collocations

  • urban : adjective meaning ‘about cities’
  • investment or funding : money to pay for an activity, either from government or business
  • infrastructure : the physical and system organisation of a city, area or country, especially in terms of transport and communications
  • high-capacity : able to handle high volumes of goods or people
  • public transport : transport such as buses and trains funded by the state (as opposed to ‘private transport’ such as cars owned by individuals)
  • congestion : situation of too much traffic, causing delays (the phrase ‘traffic jam’ is not generally used in Academic English)
  • conurbations : very large cities which have absorbed other towns
  • transport hubs : centres where many routes converge
  • facilities and amenities : places providing any service to the public, either private or public
  • a bottleneck : a place where congestion regularly happens
  • overcrowding : a situation where too many people try to live in one place
  • hinterland : the area around a city affected by its development
  • urban sprawl : the situation where a city expands and buildings are constructed without control or laws
  • public-private partnerships : projects funded jointly by the government and business, to reduce the cost to the taxpayer
  • civic pride : the pride felt in the town/city where you live, its people and infrastructure
  • tax incentives : reductions in tax to encourage people to do or buy something
  • home working : working in your home for all or part of the week
  • to commute : to travel a long distance to work every day
  • the inner city : the older, central part of a city
  • communal car-pooling : a voluntary system for people to travel in a shared car, to reduce fuel use
  • outdated : skills of making objects by hand, and also the objects themselves
  • outdated : old-fashioned and not relevant today
  • innovations : new ideas or things (which are usually useful or exciting)
  • a burden : a weight or responsibility which is difficult to cope with
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