Road transport is taking over rail services. Discuss the positive and negative effects of this development. Is this situation true for your country?
Transport refers to the activity that facilitates movements of goods and individuals from one place to another. So, it removes the distance barrier. Roadways and railways are the two means of land transport. It is true that in many countries road transport is becoming more popular. It is both a negative as well as a positive development which I shall discuss in this essay.
There are many advantages of road transport over rail transport. To begin with, it is a relatively cheaper mode of transport than rail transport. Secondly, perishable goods can be transported at a faster speed by road carriers over a short distance. Moreover, it provides door-to-door service. So, loading and unloading is possible at any destination. Finally, it is the only mode of transport in hilly areas which are not connected by other modes of transport.
On the downside, road transport has its limitations which are indirectly the plus points of rail transport. Firstly, due to limited carrying capacity, road transport is not economical for long distances. Secondly, road transport is affected by adverse weather conditions like floods, rain, landslide etc. on the other hand rail transport is hardly affected by such situations. Finally, road transport leads to too much congestion on roads which in turn may cause accidents and increase pollution.
In India, over the years, more and more inland freight traffic has been shifting from rail to road. In 1951, 88% of the country’s freight was moving on rail and 10% on road. But today, about 60% of the freight moves on road and 38% on rail.
In conclusion, I believe that, road transport definitely has an edge over rail transport. That is why it is becoming more popular. This situation has both pros and cons which I have explained in the above paragraphs.