This is the third IELTS Task 2 Writing question from the Official Cambridge IELTS Book 12.
This sample uses many of the skills we used in the Free 5-day IELTS Task 2 Writing Course, as well as more advanced techniques and language from the 4-Week IELTS Task 2 Writing Course.
In a number of countries, some people think it is necessary to to spend large sums of money on constructing railway lines for very fast trains between cities. Others believe the money should be spent on improving existing public transport.
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
Nowadays, many countries are considering building rapid intercity train systems. This essay will examine whether this is a good idea or whether it is a better idea to spend public funds on developing local infrastructure.
To start with, it can be argued that linking cities together with a fast train network would have a number of positive effects. Usually it is claimed that in the short-term there would be a construction boom and a rapid rise in local employment. Proponents of this policy also argue that in the long run these fast trains will bring cities closer together, and therefore spread economic growth. In addition, they point out that as fewer people will need to drive, pollution, such as carbon dioxide emissions and other particles, will fall, therefore benefiting the environment.
On the other hand, opponents argue that plans like this are usually an inefficient use of public funds. First of all, they usually point out that these kinds of projects have a history of costing far more than their original budgets. Take for example the fast train that will link London to Manchester, which is already two times over budget. Secondly, it is suggested that in many cases, the positive economic, social and environmental benefits of these mega-projects is typically much lower. In contrast, it is believed it would usually cost much less to invest in better roads, local railway and bus systems, since generally these can be completed much quicker and would have a stronger local impact - especially in impoverished areas where people find it difficult to travel to work.
In conclusion, as the benefits of rapid rail systems are typically lower than claimed, and because their costs are nearly always much higher, I believe in many cases public money would be better invested in developing local urban infrastructure.
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