Academic Writing Task 2
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Some cities have vehicle-free days when private cars, trucks, and motorcycles are banned from the city center. People are encouraged to use public transportation such as buses, taxis, and metro on vehicle-free days. To what extent do you think the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?
You should write at least 250 words.
Many cities around the world have started introducing vehicle-free days as a first step to banning private cars from the busiest, central city districts. Public transport, such as buses, taxis or the subway, is meant to replace private cars completely on these days. While such prohibition may initially be seen as an inconvenience and prompt a negative reaction, it has a potential to improve many aspects of city life.
Undoubtedly, private cars in many cases offer greater convenience compared to public transportation, and busy executives, directors, and agents may not welcome the challenges of being forced to use the subway. Some of these high profile individuals rely on cars for their own security and that of valuable equipment they carry to meetings, as well as the ability to work while en-route to the next appointment. Also, many businesses located in the city center might struggle if delivery trucks were restricted on certain days; this would cause problems with stock levels at various retail shops and supermarkets.
However, the benefits of car-free days are numerous. Reduced congestion will enable public transport to move faster between stops, and also the air quality will improve significantly. Not driving to the city center will eliminate the eternal parking problem for many people, saving the anxiety and expense. There will be more room for bicycles and their safety will increase due to roads not being overcrowded, not to mention pedestrians whose security will be boosted by monitoring all cars allowed to enter the city center.
Another important consideration is a change in mindset that vehicle-free days would bring about. Being able to go through the day without a car can be a liberating experience for city workers. This real-life demonstration would prove that cars aren’t always necessary and taking a bus or a tram can be just as convenient and fast. By breaking the habit of reliance on private cars people would become more open and receptive to new ways of moving around.
In conclusion, even though some may view prohibition of private cars negatively, for the reasons of improved transportation, better air quality, and increased security it seems necessary to introduce vehicle-free days.