IELTS Book 11 Essay | Governments should spend money on railways rather than roads. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Cambridge IELTS Book 11 | Writing Test 1

IELTS Writing Test Task 2 Essay

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic:

Governments should spend money on railways rather than roads.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

IELTS Essay | Government spending on railway or road development

While infrastructure development within a country is essential, it is also critical that it realistically serves the needs of the population and economy. Whether this requires investment in rail or road networks will depend greatly on the geography and logistical requirements of each individual country. The question of whether government expenditure should be targeted at the development of railways in preference to roads is one which can only be addressed by individual governments.

Rail networks offer the possibility to transport large quantities of people and goods over long distances at high speed, and relatively low cost. This form of transport also avoids adding to the problem of inner city traffic congestion and the associated traffic pollution. However, there are certain limitations to rail development, especially at a local level, and on routes which offer little profitability for the operating companies.

Development of road networks, on the other hand, impacts a greater number of people and also provides essential and better access to more areas. Investment in road development is typically less than that required to develop rail networks, and road networks can also be modified more easily to address future transport needs.

However, there is no one solution which will meet the needs of all countries, and geographical factors of a country will drive many decisions regarding the development of its transport infrastructure. For example, in highly mountainous areas, road development may be more feasible than rail access, and in extremely flat and large countries rail networks may be a more obvious choice in terms of connecting cities and other logistically important locations.

Therefore, it is for individual governments to assess the transport needs of their populations and economies and subsequently develop an appropriate transport strategy; whether based on road or rail development.