IELTS Speaking topic - Transport #2 -
IELTS Speaking topic - transport 2

IELTS Speaking topic – Transport #2

IELTS Speaking Part 2

Talk about a memorable car journey
You should say:

  • when it took place
  • if you were alone or with other people
  • what was memorable about it

and say if you enjoyed the journey.

Model answer

Back in 2004, my father and I decided to traverse the Carpathian Mountains in his old and trusty car. We had no particular reason to go there other than to enjoy the great scenery. It was a beautiful summer, so we set off as soon as the car passed an inspection at a shop.

Other than my father and myself, there was nobody in the car. Our mother intended to join us, but she is a known backseat driver, so in the end, we decided not to take her with us. A couple of my school friends felt like coming too, but their parents simply wouldn’t let them. It was too dangerous, they said. So it was just the two of us at the end.

Apart from the great sights of mountain peaks, what really made the trip stick in my mind were the breakdowns. We had two flat tyres that we had to patch up on the side of the road. Then the engine started to sputter and eventually died. As it turned out, the fuel pump had gone bad, so we had to fit one from a different model. But at the end of the day, I really enjoyed the experience!

IELTS Speaking Part 3


What type of public transport is best for modern cities?
We have to consider the size of the city before we choose the best mode of public transportation. Small to medium-sized cities will benefit the most from conventional buses. Minibuses are great too for shorter routes, I guess. If we talk about a big metropolis, things get more complicated. To offset carbon emission trams and trolleybuses can be used, both operating off the city power grid. To increase overall passenger capacity, large cities build an extensive underground network. This helps reduce traffic congestion as well as lower exhaust fumes levels. Therefore, no such thing as perfect public transport exists – they all serve a purpose and fill a niche.

Is it a good idea to reduce the number of privately owned cars? Why/why not?
This is a great proposition from the practical and environmental points of view. Clearly, private vehicles are one of the biggest carbon monoxide contributors in the modern world. Moreover, eliminating or drastically reducing of their numbers would lead to a more stress-free society. It is no secret that driving is a great source of distress for most traffic participants.

However, ethically, it is unfair to take away the right to have and drive cars. People have grown too accustomed to having the freedom to go anywhere without relying on public transport. Perhaps a smoother transition from car ownership could give people time to get used to new conditions. A gradual shift spanning five to ten years would probably be ideal in this situation.

How can people’s commute times be reduced?
People commute because they have to be present somewhere physically. It sounds self-explanatory, but it is crucial to understand this point. If we take out the necessity of being at work or  a place of study in person, then the idea of commuting simply wouldn’t exist. Therefore, working or studying from home is the cheapest and most effective way to do so. Thankfully, modern technologies are more than developed enough to facilitate this.

Transport in different times

Was it easier or more difficult to go somewhere in the past?
I believe people had different experiences of travelling depending on the time period. Hundreds of years ago, very few places had paved roads. Rain and snow would normally turn them into muddy messes that were almost impossible to travel through. While a modern issue like traffic congestion was unknown, I would say that travelling was a much more challenging venture. If we go back half a century ago, when the road network had already been quite extensive while the number of cars remained relatively low, the situation was quite different. Wide but mostly empty roads lent themselves to a relaxed and very enjoyable experience of going somewhere.

What transport regulations can we expect to see in the future?
A likely law that will be imposed in the foreseeable future is the introduction of riding licenses for bike users. As the popularity of bikes seems to be on the rise thanks to their unparalleled mobility and practicality, the governing bodies will feel the need to control this situation. We might witness the creation of technical inspection, similar to that of cars. Moreover, licence plates for bikes would not be out of the question either.

Transport vocabulary

Traverse (v) – to go through or to cross something.
Set off (phr v) – to start a journey or to start moving.
Backseat driver – a person who loves giving tips and comments on how the driver controls the car. Used negatively or humorously.
Breakdown (n) – a failure of some component in a machine, a piece of electronics and so on.
Patch up (phr v) – to fix something quickly and temporarily.
Sputter (v) – (here) if an engine sputters it struggles to work and sounds like it is about to shut down.
Carbon emissions – harmful gases produced as a result of burning fuel by an engine.
Carbon monoxide – see above, this time the particular harmful chemical is mentioned.
Paved road – a road which surface is covered with tarmac, concrete or other material.

General vocabulary

Trusty (adj) – trustworthy and reliable.
Stick in smb’s mind – to be memorable, to remain in one’s memory.
Offset (v) – to make something bad slightly better, to compensate for the harm or damage caused.
Power grid – the power system of a town, a city or a building.
Fill a niche – to find usage and popularity in a particular sphere.
Proposition (n) – an official offer or suggestion.
Contributor (n) – either a person or a body that adds to something, either positive or negative.
Drastic (adj) – very serious, introducing considerable changes.
Distress (n) – a stressful condition characterised by high levels of anxiety.
To grow accustomed to something – to get used to.
Transition (n) – changing or moving from one state to another.
Spanning (adj) – covering or including, e.g. ‘A book spanning five thousand years of human history’.
Crucial (adj) – vitally important, integral.
Lend oneself to something – to be suitable or fitting for a particular role or application: ‘Plastic paper doesn’t lend itself to making origami’.
Impose (v) – to force some law, rule or regulation on/upon somebody.
Be on the rise – to be increasing.
Unparalleled (adj) – the best (or the worst), the only one in existence. Can also be used about historical high or low levels of something: ‘Unparalleled levels of crime’
Governing bodies – state organisations that rule (govern).

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