Should governments spend more money on building roads or on improving public transportation? IELTS Writing.

Should governments spend more money on building roads or on improving public transportation?

The amount of money involved in the upkeep of major roads, particularly motorways, can be quite phenomenal. A great many motorways were built at a time when there was much less traffic on the road than there is nowadays. As the volume of traffic has increased, so has the wear and tear on the roads.

It is obvious that existing major roads have to be kept in good condition and so require governmental spending. However, should governments spend money on the construction of new roads and their maintenance?

Many motorists would undoubtedly say yes. They would point out that they are tired of the road congestion on motorways. However, are more and more new motorways the answer to a country’s traffic problems?

Motorways are extremely expensive to construct and are a great drain on a nation’s economy, taking resources away from such crucial areas as health and education. Furthermore, motorways are often very wasteful in terms of land use and, worse, are sometimes detrimental to the environment.

Governments cannot always determine the entire route of a proposed motorway, only where it should start and end. Once the decision has been made, it is the responsibility of the construction engineers to plan the road. If, on the grounds of cost or practicality, they route the motorway through valuable farmland, this will have a deleterious effect on the life and economy of the area.

It is possible the motorway might be routed through an area of natural beauty. If this happens, it will have a detrimental effect on the habitat of the wildlife there, and possibly endanger the very existence of the various animals and plants as well. It could also have a bad effect on the economy of the area as it would remove a scenic area to which tourists have been attracted.

There is another, even more important, environmental issue with regard to motorways and other major roads. A network of fast roads would encourage more people to travel about by car. This would result in there being more cars on the roads, which would then be very bad for the environment. It is an established scientific fact that emissions from engines pollute the atmosphere.

Governments, in general, do not like to upset motorists. Many countries impose quite high taxes on road use and fuel and so revenues from motorists are high. However, it is about time governments started taking other issues into consideration. They are never going to be able to build enough motorways to meet the seemingly insatiable demand of motorists. Each time a new motorway or stretch of motorway is opened, it seems to be instantly filled with traffic.

It would be much less expensive, and less detrimental to the environment, to spend money on public transport, such as buses and trains. Buses use roads as cars do, but they transport many people at a time, while a great many cars each convey only one person.

Trains not only transport many people at once, but they do so in a way that is much more regulated. It is much easier to control rail traffic than road traffic. Admittedly, from time to time there are bad rail accidents, but rail fatalities are far less common than road fatalities.

For various reasons, governments cannot continue to build more and more roads. It is time that they put more of their resources into public transport.

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