Model Answer

3. Cambridge IELTS 12 writing task 2 test 7

In a number of countries, some people think it is necessary to spend large sums of money on constructing new railway lines for very fast trains between cities. Others believe the money should be spent on improving existing public transport.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Governments must always balance demands for newer modes of transport, including newer railway lines to connect cities, with maintaining current transportation infrastructure. In my opinion, the maintanence of current transport has a greater overall impact although the importance of fast trains will make life more convenient for commuters in the short-term.

The rationale for investing in newer, faster railway lines is that they will make it easier for people to travel between cities. Recent examples of this can be seen in Japan, which is famous for its ‘bullet trains’ that allow residents to traverse the country in a matter of hours. This provides an economic boon by allowing businessmen to travel easily from city to city. Moreover, tourists can also use these trains for convenient transnational travel, thereby making the country more tourist-friendly and helping to expand the industry.

Although I concede the above advantages, the majority of people are served by already existing forms of public transportation. Tourists and businessmen travelling between cities are the exception compared with those travelling inside cities. These travellers rely on buses, subways and city streets to get around. Simple improvements or additions to a subway line impacts millions of people. A new bus route can help workers get to and from work more easily. Even the lowering of fares is a reform that would benefit less affluent travellers.

In conclusion, cities that are more concerned with actual improvements, rather than publicity grabbing headlines, should focus on the most-used forms of public transport. In the future high speed rails may even become redundant as people commute less and transition to jobs based primarily online.