Home > Transport Systems

Transport Systems

Share this

motorwaysTransport Systems – activities that provide you with the opportunity to explore the impact of transport on our rural and urban life. These activities are centred around the theme of Environment and Nature from the IGCSE ESL curriculum which explores the way humans and animals live, adapt and change on our planet.

Exercise 1Exercise 2Exercise 3Word ListExtension
Jeremy Clarkson is exploring the transport system in China. Watch the video and answer the questions that follow.

Click here to view transcript


James and I got back onto what is fast becoming the eighth wonder of the world China’s road network. In 1988 China had no motorways at all and now 30 years later it has 84,000 miles of them, that’s more than any other country in the world. And they’re only just getting into their stride. Since 2011 they’ve been building 6,000 miles of motorway every year, 6,000 miles a year. It beggars belief and it’s not like the terrain is easy here though there ain’t no mountain high enough on the rate no Valley low enough to stop them this bridge, for example, is 34 miles long and then there’s this one the Dus bay Pangaean bridge you could fit the London shot underneath it twice over I’m telling you in Britain we’re doomed.

Listen to a rail and road traffic report on the radio.

1. What is the problem on the M1 southbound?

2. What is the problem on the M25 clockwise?

3. What is the problem with the East Coast rail line?

4. Will Harry experience delays if he travels eastbound along with the M8 between junctions 16 and 15?

5. Will Denise experience delays if she travels southbound along the M1 between junctions 24a and 24?

6. Will Archie experience delays if he travels westbound between junction 20 and junction 21?

7. Will Louise experience delays if she travels on the Northern Rail route between Haydon Bridge and Bardon Mill?

8. Will Carlos experience delays if he travels on the East Coast rail line between Edinburgh Waverley and Kirkcaldy?


Click here to view transcript

Man: It’s a wet Friday and everyone’s heading home, so let’s go over to Paula for the travel news.

Woman: Thanks, Neil. There’s a lot to get through today. First of all, to the M8 westbound in Glasgow, now there’s been an accident between junctions 17 and 18, and there’s one lane shut, and that means that there are very, very long delays heading west, back as far as junction 14, and if you’re heading onto the M8 at the junctions between 14 and 18, expect heavy congestion on the slip roads and the roads leading onto the motorway. Eastbound is moving pretty slowly as well, between 18 and 14.

Now the M1 southbound, we’ve still got the breakdown between junctions 25 and 24a, affecting traffic and causing long delays in that direction, and traffic in the other direction is also moving slowly.
The M1 is also closed northbound between junctions 42 and 43 and a diversion is in place, which means traffic is practically at a standstill from junction 40 onwards. There’s still no reopening time on the M1 so these delays aren’t likely to clear soon.

Further along the M62, westbound, there was an accident between junctions 20 and 21. This has now been cleared, and all lanes are now open, but there are still long tailbacks all the way from Leeds to Manchester.
On the M6, southbound, the accident between junctions 14 and 15 has also been cleared, but there are patchy queues still there, all the way down to junction 5. Northbound, traffic is very heavy along this stretch. It is moving, but again, there are patchy hold-ups all the way up.

Now there are problems on the M25 due to roadworks – really long queues clockwise between junction 8 all the way to junction 16, where it meets the M40. There’s a brief respite, then there are long queues again between junctions 19 and 24, and again from junction 29 over the QE2 Bridge. Anticlockwise, queues start at junction 17 and they don’t really let up until junction 5 where it meets the M6. There’s hardly a break in the queue. All lanes are open anticlockwise – the congestion is just due to the solid weight of traffic.
On the trains, there is disruption on South West trains between Epsom and Ashtead due to people walking on the line causing delays of up to two hours. A signal failure on Arriva trains between Ludlow and Craven Arms is causing minor delays of up to 20 minutes. Normal service has resumed on the Northern Rail route between Haydon Bridge and Bardon Mill which was disrupted earlier following a fallen tree. There are also delays on the East Coastline between Edinburgh Waverley and Kirkcaldy due to engineering works.
On the ferries, there is a reduced service on the Red Funnel service between Southampton and the Isle of Wight due to a technical problem. That’s all from me, I’ll be back in half an hour.

Read a letter to the editor of a local newspaper about plans for a new motorway to be built close to a town.

Here are keywords and phrases covered in the activities for transport systems:

  • accident
  • breakdown
  • bypass 
  • heavy congestion 
  • junction
  • long delays
  • minor delays
  • motorway
  • pollution
  • recession
  • road network
  • signal failure
  • standstill
  • transport systems
  1. The government is proposing to build a new motorway passing close to where you live. The local newspaper has invited people to express their views. Write an article for the newspaper, giving your opinion about the proposal.
  2. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of building new motorways.
  3. Write a news report of a demonstration of people trying to stop a new transport system being built through a woodland area.
  4. Write an email to a friend about the noise from a road that has just been built near your house.
  5. Write a radio script and record it based on traffic reports from your local area.
We add activities and exercises regularly on various themes, so why not bookmark our site, so you can come back to practice anywhere or at any time of the day.

Explore the way we use technology and science in the modern world

Here you will find exercises to practice for the reading and writing section of IGCSE ESL examination for either the core or extended papers.

Exercise 1 (Questions 1 -4) - Short answer exercises

Exercise 2 - (Question 5) Gap-filled exercises

Exercise 3 - Matching

Exercise 4 - Multiple Choice

The more words you encounter and understand, the broader your day-to-day vocabulary will become. So, our IGCSE ESL Word searches are an excellent way to help to reinforce spellings. Word puzzles require not just a good vocabulary and a knack for spelling, but the ability to think logically and strategically. In the case of puzzles like our IGCSE Crosswords, it’s crucial to spell linked words correctly to be able to complete the task.
Learning English requires not just a good vocabulary, but a strong foundation of all skills to communicate well. Here we provide activities for the IGCSE ESL for all the skills required to be successful in this examination.
Levels Links:
Learn English with our free material for different levels of English. We add exercises on grammar and vocabulary as well as whole text activities on a regular basis. In addition, we provide test practise activities for students who are preparing for the Cambridge Assessment English Main Suite as well as the English Language B for the IB Diploma. The material will also support students studying for the Cambridge Advanced courses.

We provide free resources across the full range of levels to provide the tools to communicate in English well.

Elementary | Pre-Intermediate | Intermediate | Upper-Intermediate | Advanced

How useful were these activities?

Click on a trophy to rate them!

Average rating 4.3 / 5. Vote count: 3

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.