Band 9 Essays: Problem and Solutions Pt.1 – Traffic Congestion

TOPIC – Traffic congestion is a serious problem in many countries around the world. Describe the situation in your home country and suggest some solutions.


As cities continue to grow, especially in developing countries, their streets are becoming increasingly congested. While in many cases the situation is so severe that traffic often grinds to a halt, there are some measures that can be taken to try to address this issue.

One of the major causes of traffic congestion is simply a lack of space. Cities in developing countries are expanding so rapidly and contain so many people that room for new roads to handle this new growth is not available. Narrow streets that used to contain mainly bicycles, motorbikes, and just a few cars are now clogged with the latter.

Another factor is the growing wealth of city dwellers. Purchasing a car is one – if not the most common – way to show off this new prosperity. As the number of people who are able to afford a car rises dramatically, cars have begun to swallow the space that used to be able to accommodate many more smaller forms of transportation.

In order to solve this problem, there needs to be strict financial disincentives for deciding to drive a car. If someone wants to take up so much extra space every day, they should be forced to pay an extra tax that can be used to improve transport infrastructure and develop public transportation.

It should be clear that more and better public transportation is the best option. Once a city reaches a certain size, extra roads are not a solution. Admittedly, some people dislike being forced to use public transport, but it must be seen as the price for living in a city and being able to enjoy the opportunities that urban centres provide.

Overall, while economic and population growth have led to massive problems with traffic, there are some practical steps that can be taken to improve the situation. More roads is only a temporary solution. What is needed is a huge investment in modern public transport systems and a strong penalty for those who wish to drive their own cars so that traffic can flow and life can be better for everyone. (349 words)


  1. Make sure you answer the WHOLE question. First you must explain the situation/problem, then offer some solutions. Try to aim for two causes/reasons for the problem, then offer to related solutions.
  2. Try to use some synonyms for the words “problem” and “solution”. In this example, “issue”, “measures” and “steps” have been used.
  3. Try to think of some synonyms for the keywords in this topic. If you can’t, try to change the structure. In this example, “congestion” has been changed to “congested”.
  4. Try to include some topic-specific vocabulary. In this example, the topic is “traffic/transport”, so words and phrases like “transport infrastructure” and “forms of transportation” have been used.
  5. Try to include some general academic vocabulary. In this example, terms such as “financial disincentives” and “urban centres” (instead of “cities”) have been used.
  6. Make sure to introduce each paragraph with a clear linking word or phrase. In this example, the phrases “One of the major causes of…”, “Another factor is…”, “In order to solve this problem…”, and “…is the best option” have been used.
  7. The conclusion should admit there is a problem, then state that it can be solved. You can also mention how things would be better if the problem was dealt with!

Feel free to post any comments or questions. For more information, idioms, and useful vocabulary like and follow



One thought on “Band 9 Essays: Problem and Solutions Pt.1 – Traffic Congestion

  1. Pingback: Band 9 Essays: Opinion – Road Safety | IELTS UNLOCKED

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