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There is wind where the rose was,
Cold rain where sweet grass was,
And clouds like sheep
Stream o'er the steep
Grey skies where the lark was.

Nought warm where your hand was,
Nought gold where your hair was,
But phantom, forlorn,
Beneath the thorn,
Your ghost where your face was.

Cold wind where your voice was,
Tears, tears where my heart was,
And ever with me,
Child, ever with me,
Silence where hope was.

November by Walter de la Mare
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The reasons and solutions of congestion in urban areas

lisalisa Posts: 406 ✭✭
It is undoubtly the case that the urban areas around the world increasingly suffer from the congestion. In this essay, I examine the reasons and suggest some practical policies the authorities could implement to reduce the levels of the traffic in our cities.

The first step is to understand why the traffic has increased in towns and cities. Broadly speaking, there are three main reasons for this trend. One is that cars have become more afforable for the avarage consumer and they are no longer a luxury item, but something that more families expect to own. A second reason is that the public transport has increasingly become more unrelaible in recent years, not least because the bus or train services have reduced because of the difficulty in funding them. The third reason is that society has in general become more mobile and this means more people are prepared to commute to work by car than they were before.

There is almost certainly no one solution for this problem given the complexity of its causes. However, one option has to be to improve the realiablity of public transport to encourage people to take the bus or the train rather than get in the car. It would also be possible to discourage people from driving to work by car by introducing special tariffs for using the roads, especially during peak periods. A sucessful example of this is the congestion charge scheme in London which has increasingly reduced the levels of traffic in the inner city areas.

In conclusion, there are a variety of factors that have led to rising the levels of traffic in our cities. While it may not be possible to find a complete solution, any action probably involve encouraging greater use of public transport and making it more expensive for the motorist to drive in urban areas.


  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 28,081 mod
    Car sharing might be a good way to reduce the number of cars on the road. Also staggering working hours can help avoid peak times when everyone is on the road at the same time. In some cities, the odd number licence plates are not allowed on the roads on one day, with the even number plate numbers being able to drive, taking turns so only half the cars can use the roads on any one day.

    I like the occasional 'car-free' days when no cars are allowed at least in parts of the city @lisa.
  • lisalisa Posts: 406 ✭✭
    Car sharing is famous in some big cities in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and so on, but in my hometown it does not have enough cars to share, the total number is 100 pieces, which is far away to meet the requirement of the citizens. And there are some new problems for car sharing, such as the limited destinations, fees and so on. Encouraging the development of public transport is a fabulous idea, in my hometown , during the forbidden car days, the bus is free. Hope one day, we can work in our home instead of go to company.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 28,081 mod
    In France there is an organisation called Blar-Bla Cars where people who want to car share can offer their services if they want passengers, setting a price that you can see on a phone app. You book the place and it is paid by card, so no cash exchanges hands. But like you say @lisa, it is only suitable where there are lots of people driving to lots of places. I used it once to go to and from Marseille, a big city about two hours drive away. It cost about 14€ instead of the train fare of 50€. But I think the bus is about the same price as car sharing.
  • lisalisa Posts: 406 ✭✭
    In the big cities of China, there are lots of such kind of car sharing, usually it is cheaper than the taxi, but more expensive than bus, I think. Once my friend and I took car sharing to the city, we are living in the countryside. That is the unique time I paid the driver by cash directly, instead of pay the money to car sharing app, because usually we pay the money to car sharing app instead of the driver.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 28,081 mod
    I'm not sure if this car sharing system exists in the UK @lisa. Public transport here is very expensive.
  • lisalisa Posts: 406 ✭✭
    @mheredge Before 2012, the public transport of Beijing , subway and bus, are very cheap, if I have time, I just need two RMB to spend the whole day in the subway, which means I can go anywhere as I like during the whole day except the airport. And most of ticket price of bus is just 0.4RMB, the most expensive bus I took was two RMB , if I remembered clearly. But now the prices are more expensive than before.
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