IELTS Essay # 1202 - Reducing the need for people to travel from home to reduce traffic

IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Essay:

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

The only way to reduce the amount of traffic in cities today is by reducing the need for people to travel from home to work, shopping and education.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words. 

Model Answer 1: [Disagreement]
The most viable solution to the ever-growing traffic problem in urban areas, according to some, is to minimize the citizen's need for travel to workplaces, shopping malls and schools. However, I disagree with this viewpoint.

First, all professionals can not work from home. Doctors, engineers, bankers, nurses, sales executives and many other professionals have to visit their workplaces and meet people to execute their responsibilities. Similarly, if we shop online, dispatch staff will still be on the road to deliver products. In addition to this, many professional courses require field studies and laboratory work and an online course cannot provide such facilities. Online courses cannot be compared with classroom teaching and the quality of the products cannot be judged just by the pictures on a laptop or a phone. Thus people need to get outside to do their daily work. Furthermore, if somebody is confined to one place for a long to avoid being outside for their daily needs and professional duties, he or she may develop physical and psychological problems.

To truly tackle traffic congestion, we need more realistic solutions than restricting people's movement. One such solution can be improving public transportation. The convenience of public conveyance would discourage many to use their private cars, which is the primary reason for bad traffic in many cities. Furthermore, the government can encourage people to use an eco-friendly mode of transport, like the bicycle, by dedicating a separate lane for them. Many European and Asian cities, for example, already have separate cycle lanes and this has been truly effective in promoting environment-friendly vehicles and reducing traffic congestion.

In conclusion, in order to minimize traffic jams, the authority should enhance mass transportation facilities and encourage people to use eco-friendly transport rather than planning to restrict people's movements.

[Written by - Sabrina Qamar]


Sample Answer 2: [Partial agreement]
Urbanization has brought the term traffic congestion into existence. A school of thought believes that traffic can only be controlled by limiting daily commuters' need for travel. However, I am not convinced that this is the only or the best way. Though it has some impact, other measures are required.

Apparently, reasons that substantiate the claim that "the less frequently people travel in a city, the fewer traffic jam they create" - require thorough analysis. Firstly, city dwellers commute daily primarily for their study, business, job, shopping and social needs. Some of these could be done from home as the advancement of technology has made it possible to learn, work and shop online. This will reduce traffic to a certain extent. To illustrate, a survey conducted by the Australian Traffic Authority outlines that 75% of commuters in private cars travel for shopping, job and education, and it is clear that if people can work from home, do online shopping and enrol in online courses, traffic congestion would be reduced, if not solved.

However, working from home is not permissible for a great number of professionals such as nurses, builders, doctors, police and so on. Therefore, they must travel to and from their workplaces daily. Moreover, online learning cannot replace the classroom-based education system, and online shopping is yet to substitute the traditional shopping method. Thus it is evident that controlling the necessity of travel for the day-to-day activities of citizens is not the only way to manage traffic problems. Improving public transportation, carpooling and encouraging pedestrians and cyclists could be some great solutions.

To conclude, limiting city dwellers' needs for their daily commute may help control traffic problems to some extent, but other measures should be in place. The government should encourage people to use eco-friendly transportations to tackle both bad traffic and pollution.

[Written by - Anu Scaria]


Model Answer 3: [Agreement]
Traffic congestion is perhaps a curse in many cities, and it kills valuable time on the one hand and degrades people's overall productivity and economic progress on the other hand. Since the main reason for traffic gridlocks on the roads is the overwhelming number of people who commute daily, limiting it to a reasonable extent is conceivably the best solution to curb the bad traffic.

Admittedly, the government and city administration cannot ask citizens to stay indoors and arrange the "work from home" facility for every professional as making it a regulation would create confusion and discontent. Moreover, people need to get outside not only for their professional, shopping and educational needs but also to socialise. Thus restricting people's need to commute daily seems like an unrealistic idea to many.

However, there are ways to implement it without creating confusion and dissatisfaction among citizens and curbing traffic problems at the same time. Since we need to reduce the number of commuters and vehicles on the road, which is the only viable solution to traffic problems, we can sort out the professionals who can work from home and then distribute the facilities like shopping centres, parks and banks to all residential areas so that people can get them within walking distance. For instance, IT professionals, lawyers, bookkeepers, customer service representatives, instructors and similar other professionals do not need to travel to their office daily as they can execute most of their responsibilities from home with the help of technology.

Moreover, improving some facilities and digitalising many services can deter people from unnecessary daily commuting. For instance,  many parents travel to their children's school daily to drop them off and pick them up. If schools offer safe and convenient transportation facilities, parents would rely on such facilities rather than travelling daily. Similarly, banking, utility bill payment and help desk should be digitalised so that we can complete our tasks from home rather than visiting those offices.

To conclude, traffic congestion in many cities is so big a problem that the authority is struggling to keep it under control. A large number of commuters and the vehicles they use are the primary reason for that, and it is expected that the government would facilitate people so that they need to commute less frequently.

[Written by - Arthur Wellesley]


Sample Answer 4: [Disagreement]

The idea that the only way to reduce traffic in cities is to reduce the need for people to travel is a simplistic and unrealistic one. While it is true that reducing the number of trips people make each day would certainly help alleviate traffic congestion to some extent, it is not the only or even a practical solution to the growing traffic problem. In fact, there are several other effective strategies that can be employed to reduce traffic in cities, without necessarily reducing the need for travel.

One way to reduce traffic is by improving public transportation. Many people prefer to drive their own vehicles because public transportation systems in many cities are unreliable, uncomfortable, and inconvenient. By investing in better public transportation systems, cities can encourage more people to use buses, trains, and other forms of mass transit, thereby reducing the number of cars on the road. Cities like Tokyo and New York have improved their traffic condition after investing heavily in their public transportation.

Another effective strategy for reducing traffic is to encourage people to carpool. Carpooling reduces the number of cars on the road, thereby easing congestion and reducing air pollution. Cities can encourage carpooling by providing incentives such as priority parking spaces or reduced tolls for carpoolers. Finally, cities can also work to make walking and biking more feasible options for commuting. By creating safe and convenient bike lanes and pedestrian walkways, more people may be encouraged to walk or bike to work, thereby reducing the number of cars on the road. Additionally, cities can encourage the use of e-bikes and electric scooters to further reduce the need for cars.

In conclusion, reducing the need for people to travel is one of several strategies to reduce road traffic, but, it is not even practical to implement. On the contrary, by improving public transportation, encouraging carpooling, and making walking and biking more feasible, cities can work towards a more sustainable and less congested future.

Sample Answer 5: [Agreement]

In modern cities, traffic congestion is a substantial problem that causes delays, frustration, and pollution while also killing valuable manhours. Some people argue that the only solution to reducing traffic in cities is by reducing the need for people to travel from home to work, shopping, and education. I strongly agree with this viewpoint, and in this essay, I will explain why.

One of the main reasons why we need to reduce the need for people to travel is that the current transportation infrastructure cannot cope with the ever-increasing demand for travel. Building more roads and expanding public transportation systems are not feasible solutions in densely populated cities, and these measures often create new problems, such as increased air pollution and more congestion. Therefore, the best approach is to reduce the demand for travel by creating more opportunities for remote work, online shopping, and e-learning. We have already witnessed that this approach could be highly effective during the Covid-19 lockdown when people used to work, attend classes and shop online and stayed at home.

Moreover, reducing the need for people to travel can have numerous economic, social, and environmental benefits. For example, remote work can save commuters a significant amount of time and money spent on transportation, resulting in improved work-life balance and productivity. Online shopping and e-learning can provide more convenience and accessibility to people with limited mobility or living in remote areas. Additionally, reducing traffic can help to lower air pollution levels, improve public health, and enhance the overall quality of life in cities.

In conclusion, I strongly agree that the only and the best way to reduce traffic in cities is by reducing the need for people to travel from home to work, shopping, and education. By creating more opportunities for remote work, online shopping, and e-learning, we can enjoy numerous economic, social, and environmental benefits while alleviating traffic congestion and improving the overall quality of life in cities.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.39 (18 Votes)

I believe model answer 1 will lose a substantial amount of points for going off-topic. They have discussed solutions which the task is not asking for. Further clarification by an IELTS professional would be appreciated.
I agree that 'The only way to reduce the amount of traffic in cities today is by reducing the need for people to travel from home to work, shopping and education'. The fewer people travel the fewer vehicles are on the road resulting less traffic congestion.