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How to free up the roads in Reunion Island


• Laëtitia: The presenter

• Stephan: The scientist

• Mike: Government agent



Laëtitia: Good evening ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our broadcast. Tonight, we are going to talk about how to free up the roads in Reunion. This problemconcerns every one of us. Every day we get stuck in traffic jams, when going to work or even when taking our children to school. Tonight we have Dr. Stephan, a researcher from the University of Reunion, to present us some possible solutions to the issue.

Stephan: Good evening and thank you Laëtitia. I am part of a research team from our University. My team and I have recently talked about thematter of traffic congestion. As you know, traffic jams make us lose many resources. Economically, it is a waste in terms of fuel and time. Also, it is a major cause of stress and of pollution… Many solutions exist and countries worldwide are putting big money to try to minimize the problem.

Laëtitia: Dr. Stephan, what are the causes of traffic jams?

Stephan: Following a report from the Tokyoconference, on traffic jams which was held last month, the experts concluded that traffic jams are generated by small events, for example, if a driver suddenly brakes, this can cause a major slow down behind him, and ultimately result into a traffic jam.

Laëtitia: What is the situation at this moment in Reunion?

Stephan: So, the main problem in Reunion is that there are too many cars perhousehold and that the road network doesn’t suit the number of cars.

Laëtitia: Tonight we also have Mr. Mike, a representative of the Transports & Equipment Division from our Government. Welcome Mr. Mike, what do you think about what Dr. Stephan just said?

Mike: Good evening. I’d like to thank you for inviting me tonight. Well, concerning what was said, it is true that there are many cars inReunion. Actually, recent surveys indicate that the number of cars is approximately 340 000. On the other hand, we are 800 000 inhabitants. That’s roughly one car for two persons… Doctor Stephan also talked about inadequate road networks. It is true that our roads were not built to accommodate that amount of traffic, this is why, we are working on improving them…

Laëtitia: We will come back tothis later. Dr. Stephan, you have studied the problem with your team. Tell us what are the solutions that you have uncovered?

Stephan: Many solutions can help to minimize traffic jams. There is an initiative from European countries including France to encourage the use of electric bicycles. Furthermore, people may be encouraged to use public transport, to share their cars and companies may set upa transport scheme to collect all their workers. Another short-term way out could be the use of ferries, which can be used to transport goods and this will possibly, reduce the amount of goods vehicles, which sometimes help to generate jams…

Mike: Do you really think we will the problem just by telling people: “Stop driving cars, use bicycles instead?”

Stephan: Everyday I see that peoplelike to do sports and it isn’t a general solution but those who prefer physical effort can adopt it. The population must bear in mind that their habits will have to change if they want to deal with the matter. Moreover, I have come forward with other solutions.

Mike: Your solutions are interesting, but that they have worked in other countries doesn’t mean they will work here. However, I do agreewith you on certain points.

Laëtitia: Okay Mr Mike, what do you propose at your level to make traffic jams less frequent?

Mike: What we are actually doing is that we are trying to improve the road infrastructure in Reunion. As you all know, the works on the Routes des Tamarins is progressing rapidly. We will be able to deliver it at the end of next year.

Laëtitia: (Oh) This is a good...
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