- The symbols of London 5. On the road
- Means of travelling 6. A healthy but difficult choice
- World record holder 7. An unusual hobby
- A sweet in the street 8. Conflict over roads
A. The British are enthusiastic about mobility. They think that the ability to travel far and frequently is their right. People can spend up to two or three hours commuting to London or another big city and arrive back at their homes in the countryside only late in the evening. They put up with the long journey because they want their families to avoid the unhealthy lifestyle of big cities.
B. Most journeys to work are made by private road transport. It leads to the pollution so familiar to many big cities, and to traffic jams. Congestion is especially high in Britain because the British do not welcome the idea of building new roads. They don’t like living close to them. Each proposal to build a new road is criticised so it’s not easy to improve the road situation.
C. Perhaps because the trains were the first means of transport in Britain many people still have a romantic outlook on them. Thousands of train-lovers spend a lot of time looking for information about trains, especially old steam engines. Many enthusiasts spend their free time restoring and repairing old trains. They even earn some money by offering rides to tourists.
D. It is possible to travel between any two towns or cities by either road or rail. In some parts of the country there is a very good rail network but most commercially successful trains run between London and the largest cities in the country. By modern European standards British trains are not fast. Coach services are generally even slower than trains but are much cheaper. It explains why they are still in use.
E. Britain is one of the few countries in Europe where double-decker buses are a common sight. Although single-deckers have been in use since 1960s, London still has many double-deckers in operation. They are world-famous, an image associated with the city. Another London icon is the black taxi. Normally, these traditional taxis cannot be hired by phone. You simply have to find one on the street.
F. In 1953, most schoolchildren walked to school. For this reason, school crossing patrols were introduced. This ‘patrol’ consists of an adult wearing a bright waterproof coat and carrying a stick with a circle on top of it, which reads ‘STOP’. Armed with this ‘lollipop’, the adult walks out into the middle of the road, stops the traffic and allows the children to cross.
G. On 9 January 2013, the London Underground (or the Tube) celebrated 150 years since the first underground journey. It is both the world’s oldest underground railway and the oldest rapid transit system. It was also the first underground railway to operate electric trains. The Underground has 268 stations and 400 km of track, making it the longest metro system in the world by route length.