Free Resources for Students and Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in China - by Paul Sparks

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Paul Sparks, Online Business English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas for Grade 1 English Conversation Lessons at Xiangtan Normal University...



Lesson 14 - TRANSPORT


British Roads
Drivers in the UK drive on the left side of the road!

In the UK many people drive their own car, therefore there is a large amount of traffic on the roads. There are different types of roads - major roads are normally called motorways and have 3 lanes of traffic on either side. The motorways are all given numbers, for example "M1", M6" etc. Main roads are called "A roads" and normally have a dual carriageway (2 lanes of traffic on either side as shown in the picture). The "A roads" are also given numbers, for example "A1", A1234" etc. Local roads with one lane for each side of traffic are called "B roads" and are numbered "B2211" etc.

In the UK anyone over the age of 17 can drive a car provided that they pass a driving test and get a driving licence. Traffic in the UK is controlled by a set of rules known as the "Highway Code". The Highway Code tells drivers and pedestrians (walkers) what they can and can't do on the roads.

Roads in the UK have many "zebra crossings" or pedestrian crossings. When a person walks across the street on a crossing the traffic has to stop to allow them to cross. Many crossings are controlled by traffic lights, people can press the button on the lights to stop the traffic.

Britain's roads have many delivery lorries travelling around the country. They normally display the name of the company or brand of goods. Many retailers use road as their preferred method of transport.

These are bigger than cars, and used to deliver smaller goods. They are also used by many businesses.

In the UK anyone over the age of 16 can ride a motorbike. British law says that anyone on a motorbike must wear a crash helmet when riding.

Bikes aren't used as much in the UK due to the uneven landscape and also because of the wet weather. Bikes are used more by children or by people as a method of exercise.

In the UK buses are owned by private companies. Many roads have a separate lane which can only be used by busses, taxis and cyclists. London buses are always red, but busses in other areas can be any colour.

In London taxis are very large and always black. They are normally known as "Black Cabs". Taxis in other areas can be any type of car and any colour. 

British Railways
Like other services the railways are also private companies. The train companies operate different train routes. The types of trains vary - there are electric trains as well as diesel trains. There are passenger trains as well as goods trains. British trains are very fast, because the UK is a small country there are no sleeper trains. The newest trains in the UK are the ones which are operated by "Eurostar", these are the trains which travel between England and France. They only take 20 minutes to pass under the Channel, people can travel on them as well as drive their cars onto the trains.

Emergency Vehicles
The emergency services use very modern transport, the ambulances are normally white with bright colours used to make people aware of the ambulance. Fire engines are always red. Police cars very in each region, however they are normally white with bright colours, the type of car will vary also. The emergency vehicles all use blue lights.


Traffic Laws
The road laws in the UK are very strict, anyone caught speeding, driving dangerously or drunk driving will be punished with a fine, loss of licence or prison. Traffic police patrol the roads and speed cameras (shown in the picture below) are used on roads to catch people speeding. 

There is also wide spread use of surveillance cameras, known as CCTV cameras (Closed Circuit Television). Roads will be monitored using cameras as shown below to watch roads and check on any build up of traffic or any accidents.

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