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IELTS essay, topic: Is banning cars from city centres a positive or negative development?

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 close to IELTS Band 9.

Set 5 Academic book, Practice Test 23

Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Many cities have areas where the only cars are taxis and buses.

Is this a positive or a negative development? What are the effects of this on individuals and society?

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

You should write at least 250 words.

Sample Band 9 Essay

Banning cars from the centre of various cities around the world has been a strategy to reduce pollution and encourage people to use public transport. It has had various positive effects for both individuals and for society as a whole.

Banning cars from the centre of cities seems to be a very positive development. Fewer cars on the road means less pollution and fewer fossil fuel resources being used up. Although the effect on resources might be relatively negligible, it can create a newer way of thinking regarding the dynamics of transport within cities and this could be the most important benefit to society. Some people working in the centre of these cities may complain about inconvenience, but many would agree that this is a small price to pay.

A reduction in the reliance of people on private vehicles is likely to encourage them to use public transport or even bicycles. Using public transport, especially the types that run on clean sources of power, will significantly raise air quality levels in cities, which will of course benefit everyone. The clean air could even further encourage the use of bicycles, which would in turn promote more healthy lifestyles and less obesity. This would contribute on an individual level to people’s well-being and a better and longer life, and on a societal level, it would lessen the strain on public health resources. Governments could encourage this by creating more bicycle lanes to make cycling easier and safer.

In conclusion, it is clear that banning cars from the centre of cities is significantly beneficial. Better health and ecology, as well as improvement in longevity and well-being can benefit individuals and the entire society.

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