IELTS Essay, topic: In some countries private cars are now banned from city centres (advantages / disadvantages)

This is a model response to a Writing Task 2 topic from High Scorer’s Choice IELTS Practice Tests book series (reprinted with permission). This answer is likely to score IELTS Band 9.

Set 3 Academic book, Practice Test 14

Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

In some countries private cars are now banned from certain city centres. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a system and do you feel that this is something that most cities should adopt?

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

You should write at least 250 words.

Answer

Banning cars from city centres is a recent trend and it can be seen in various cities around the world. Certain advantages and disadvantages immediately spring to mind when considering this step that city councils are taking.

The advantages are clear. Since cars were introduced, city centres have always been areas where air quality is poor due to the amount of emissions, which in turn affects people’s health. City centres become quieter and safer for people to wander around shopping and enjoying themselves. Access to city centres can still be good, as it is usually only private vehicles that are banned, and buses and taxis can still take people in and out of the city centre areas. Many towns also operate a park and ride scheme, so people can leave their cars in safe car parks in the outskirts of towns and travel with a dedicated bus service to the town centres. It would seem hard to criticise this kind of scheme.

There are critics though to the scheme of banning cars in city centres. City centre shop keepers have often been vocal opponents, as they believe that fewer people will come to the city centres and therefore their incomes will be affected. The general public also sometimes object, as people often like to travel in their own private vehicles. In actual fact, banning cars from city centres has in practice not reduced the number of people who travel to city centres to shop. People like shopping and socialising in city centres and they just adapt to the situation. There is no answer to people who want to drive their own cars. They hopefully will just realise that the sacrifice of not driving their own cars is outweighed by the health and lifestyle improvements of a cleaner and quieter city centre.

In conclusion, there are far more advantages to banning cars from city centres than allowing them. It is therefore a measure that most city centres should adopt for their citizens.

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