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  • Rob: Hello, I'm Rob, and welcome to 6 Minute English,

  • where today we're chatting about a pedestrian topic

  • and six items of related vocabulary.

  • Neil: Hello, I'm Neil. A pedestrian is someone who

  • walks around rather than travelling by car

  • or bus. But in Rob's sentence he used the

  • adjective, and in this context it means dull

  • or uninteresting!

  • Rob: And of course I was making a pun, Neil. Because

  • of course the show is going to be extremely

  • interesting! It's about safety on the streets

  • - and whether pedestrianisation is a good

  • thing or not.

  • Neil: Pedestrianisation means changing a street

  • into an area that can only be used by pedestrians.

  • Rob: Well, it sounds like a good idea - no traffic,

  • less noise and air pollution. And no chance

  • of getting knocked down by a car or a bus!

  • Neil: There are plans to pedestrianise Oxford Street,

  • which is one of the busiest shopping streets in London.

  • Rob: That's right. The Mayor of London wants to

  • tackle - or make an effort to deal with - air

  • pollution in this very busy spot - where the

  • amount of traffic is definitely a problem!

  • In fact, can you tell me, Neil, what's the average speed

  • of a bus travelling along Oxford Street? Is it:

  • a) 4.6 miles per hour, b) 14.6 miles per hour or

  • c) 46 miles per hour?

  • Neil: And I think it's 14.6 miles per hour -

  • a) sounds too slow and c) sounds too fast!

  • Rob: OK, we'll find out the answer later on. The

  • problem is - the traffic doesn't just disappear.

  • You ban it from one area - and it gets rerouted

  • somewhere else.

  • Neil: Ban means to say officially that something

  • can't be done. And reroute means to change

  • the direction you're travelling in, in order

  • to reach a particular destination. That's true, Rob.

  • It must be a big headache for city planners.

  • Rob: Well, let's listen now to Joe Urvin, Chief

  • Executive of Living Streets. He's going to

  • talk some more about why traffic is causing

  • problems in our towns and cities.

  • Joe Urvin, Chief Executive of Living Streets:

  • In 1970 we had 20 million cars in this country.

  • Now we have over 30 million cars in such a short

  • period. So that creates three big problems.

  • One is space - because we've still got the

  • same street structures in our towns and cities,

  • causing congestion. It causes pollution, which

  • people are concerned about more and more.

  • And actually, it's kind of engineering walking

  • out of our lives. So we're actually not getting

  • enough exercise, which is a cause of a health crisis.

  • Smart cities are looking at pedestrianisation

  • - in Glasgow, in Birmingham, in London for

  • example, Manchester - as a way of not only

  • making their places, cities better and more

  • attractive, actually, building their local economy.

  • Neil: So Neil Urvin identifies three problems - the

  • first is that our city streets have stayed the same

  • while the number of cars on the roads

  • has increased dramatically.

  • Rob: That's right - and this has led to congestion

  • on our roads. Congestion means too much traffic,

  • making it hard to move.

  • Neil: The second problem is pollution - which we

  • mentioned earlier.

  • Rob: Pollution is damage to the environment caused

  • by releasing waste substances such as carbon dioxide

  • into the air.

  • Neil: And the third problem is that by travelling

  • around on buses or in our cars we aren't getting

  • enough exercise. And we all know that's a

  • bad thing! Would pedestrianisation engineer

  • walking back into our lives do you think?

  • Rob: I'm not sure, Neil. It would be great if we

  • could go shopping or walk to work without

  • breathing in fumes or worrying about getting

  • knocked down by a car. But banning all motorised

  • traffic from town centres might make life

  • difficult for people to get around.

  • Neil: Well, I'm not a town planner - and I don't

  • have the answers. But I would like to know

  • if I got the answer right to the question

  • you asked me earlier!

  • Rob: OK, well I asked you: What's the average speed

  • of a bus travelling along Oxford Street? Is it:

  • a) 4.6mph, b) 14.6mph or c) 46mph?

  • Neil: And I said 14.6mph.

  • Rob: And that's not slow enough, Neil, I'm afraid.

  • The answer is actually 4.6mph. And we pedestrians

  • walk at an average speed of 3.1mph apparently!

  • Neil: Good to know. OK - shall we go over the words

  • we learned today, Rob?

  • Rob: Sure - the first one is 'pedestrian' - a person

  • who is walking, usually in an area where there's traffic.

  • "Sorry, you can't ride your bike here.

  • The path is for pedestrians only."

  • Neil: The adjective - "This book is full of very pedestrian

  • ideas. I wouldn't read it if I were you."

  • Rob: I've crossed it off my list, Neil. Thank you.

  • OK - number two is 'to tackle' something,

  • which means to make an effort to deal with

  • a difficult problem. For example, "The government

  • isn't really tackling the problem of air pollution.

  • It needs to do much more."

  • Neil: Very true. OK, 'ban' means to say officially

  • that something can't be done. "The UK government

  • will ban the sale of diesel and petrol cars

  • from 2040."

  • Rob: And number four is 'reroute' which means to

  • change the direction you're travelling in.

  • Neil: "The council has rerouted all buses to avoid

  • the town centre."

  • Rob: 'Congestion' is number five - too much traffic,

  • making it difficult to move.

  • Neil: "Road congestion always gets better in the

  • summer when a lot of car drivers are on holiday."

  • Rob: That's true, isn't it? London always seems

  • emptier in July and August.

  • Neil: Except for all the tourists walking around

  • - congesting the streets!

  • Rob: Very funny! And finally, number six is 'pollution'

  • - which is damage to the environment caused

  • by releasing waste substances such as carbon

  • dioxide into the air, or plastic into the sea.

  • Neil: "You can help reduce air pollution by walking

  • to work every day instead of driving."

  • Rob: Are you talking to me, Neil? I always walk to work!

  • Neil: I know you do, Rob - you're an example to us all!

  • Rob: OK, that's all we have time for today.

  • Neil: But please don't forget to visit us via our

  • Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages! Goodbye!

  • Rob: Bye bye!

Rob: Hello, I'm Rob, and welcome to 6 Minute English,

Subtitles and vocabulary

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A1 US rob pollution traffic travelling congestion air pollution

Keeping cars out of city centres - 6 Minute English

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    joey joey posted on 2022/03/07
Video vocabulary