Although Vienna already has a superb public transport system, work has begun on a plan to divert
traffic away from the streets of the city. Key plans include building new and
improved motorway and rail links and a city ring road. Within the city, 30
kilometers of underground lines will be added to the Metro over the next ten
years. At present, five billion schillings is poured into Vienna’s public
transport system every year. 1_____ The underground links well with the
extensive tram lines and bus routes. There are already 500 kms of cycle paths,
although Viennese cyclists grumble at deep potholes in the paths.
sites, large-scale repairs of roads and the reconnection of the two halves of the
city have all combined to make Berlin a difficult place to move about in. 2____
Several of the underground and cross-town railway stations are closed down for
renovation. For car drivers, the worst problem is trying to “get to the other
side” – to move from east to west or vice versa. There are simply not enough
roads to meet the demand. The good news is that all this inconvenience is
working towards a good cause. When all the building and rebuilding is finished,
Berlin’s commuters will have one of Europe’s most efficient traffic systems.
3___ At present, the “Green Wave” guarantees the free flow of traffic along the
city’s main streets: drivers who keep to 50
km can hit a wave of green lights and avoid getting stuck in traffic.
The Greek metropolis
was confirmed as Europe’s most polluted city this week. 4____ Given the city’s
poor public transport, cars are overwhelmingly the means of transport chosen by
most Athenians. Unfortunately, it is a choice to which Athens is particularly
ill-suited, with its high buildings, narrow streets and a single ring road,
which forces most vehicles to enter the city centre at some point along their
journey. The most drastic of a series of measures – banning odd or even
number-plated cars from the city centre on alternate working days – has failed
to solve the problem. 5_____ The government has also begun investing heavily in
public transport and, after long delays, is now building the city’s first
underground metro system.
For a nation
which once prided itself on building roads and railways for others, transport
in the capital is in a worry state. Today, the world’s oldest Tube (the first
section was opened in 1863) still boasts 735 million passenger journeys a year.
But it is widely regarded as over-priced, inefficient and in need of extensive
repair. 6____ The worsening of public services has brought an increase in
private transport. The subsequent congestion on the capital’s streets was made
worse when cars were banned from the City, London’s financial centre, following
bomb attacks by the IRA.
It is ten
kilometers from my house in the Stockholm suburbs to the office in the city
centre where I work. 7____ For me, public transport wins hands down. If I leave
home just before eight o’clock, I’m at the office by half past eight. The train
runs every three minutes or so at peak times on the main routes. During the
rush hour it can be difficult to get a seat, but it’s rare to be crammed in
like sardines, as in London or Paris. For the price of a monthly pass (375
krona), you can travel on all buses and trains within Stockholm – to me that is
true value for money and certainly less than the cost of the petrol you would
use. By comparison, driving to work, with the congestion and difficulty finding
parking space, is just not worth to hassle.
sentences have been removed from the text. Choose from the sentences A – H the
one which fits each gap (1-7). There’s one extra sentence which you do not need
A.Getting there means choosing between an
efficient underground system or being stuck in traffic jams for much of the
B.Most city dwellers bought a second car.
C.The ring road was opposed by environmentalists
but has turned out to be a great success.
D.Many of the city’s highways are blocked off to
allow construction work go ahead.
E.Predictably, private cars were found to be the
main source of pollution.
F.Half the money is provided by the government,
the remainder comes from fares.
G.Above ground, Londoners are not doing much better.
H.It will certainly be the most modern.
questions 1 – 12, choose from the cities A – E. Some of the cities may be used
more than twice. When more than one answer is required, these may be given in
Which city or
- does not
have an underground system yet? 1____
- has good
facilities for cyclists? 2____
- has a
cheap and efficient railway service? 3____
- has an
expensive underground system? 4____
- is planning
to improve its rail services? 5____6____
better bus services in the past? 7____
serious parking problems? 8____
tried to limit the number
in the city centre? 9____ 10____
increased in size recently? 11____
unsuitable roads for cars? 12____
Find words in
the text that mean:
-make something change direction (Vienna)
-repairs, improvement (Berlin)
-people who travel long distances to and from
-severe, dramatic (Athens)
-putting money into a project (Athens)
-heavy traffic that blocks the roads (London)
-areas on the edge of a town or city (Stockholm)
-pushed into a small space (Stockholm)
IN READING (X form)
Flintstones, a modern Stone Age Family. From the town of Bedrock, here’s a bit
about their history. Sarah “Pebbles” Burns tells the prehistoric story.
the world, every hour of every day, The Flintstones is being broadcast.
An incredible 300 million fans tune in to watch it regularly. Whether you like
them or not, Fred, Wilma and their neighbours, Barney and Betty Rubble, are
impossible to avoid. Recently, all 166 episodes were broadcast non-stop on
television across the USA. Not bad for a cartoon which was badly received by
the critics on its first run 38 years ago.
Bill Hanna and Joseph Barbera are the men responsible for The Flintstones.
Screen Gems approached them in the late 1950s with the idea of producing an
animated prime-time programme. It had never been done before, but with the fast
growing popularity of their Quick Draw McGraw and Huckleberry Hound,
the cartoonists gave it a go. It was a decision they were never to regret.
They decided to
create a family and give them the same problems as contemporary suburban
families, but with something very different about them. “Bill and I invented
six different families, however, none really pleased us,” recalls Barbera. “We
drew them as pilgrims, Romans, Eskimos, cowboys and everything imaginable. Then
an artist came up with a sketch using leopard skins on Neanderthal-type
characters,” says Hanna. “That was it. That’s what we wanted them to look
Then they threw
an average married couple into a Stone Age environment. Drawing the characters
with everyday objects wasn’t funny, so they tried stone and other prehistoric
materials. The result was a whole lot of clever Stone Age gargets and endless
jokes about rocks, which is why the Flintstones’ neighbours got to be called
“Rubble” and why they all live in “Bedrock”. Fred Flintstone’s famous yell –
“yabba dabba doo” – wasn’t originally in the script. It was the man behind
Fred’s voice, Alan Reed, who made it up. During recording he said to Barbera,
“Joe, where it says “yahoo”, can I say instead “yabba dabba doo”?”
Joe Barbera explains
the cartoonists’ detailed preparation: “We researched into prehistoric times,
learning about the animals and other natural elements and surroundings
characteristic of that period. All this helped in the creation of the series.”
Hanna adds: “It was originally called The Flagstones, until we received
a letter from a cartoonist who already had a comic strip of that name.
Reluctantly, we changed it to The Flintstones.”
were based on other TV series about families, and many episodes depended on
audience fears, like unemployment and the dentist. Plenty of modern day
characters made an appearance too, like the actor “Stony Curtis” and the
conductor “Leonard Bernstone”. Rock Hudson did not, of course, have to change
his name, and one day the famous American president “Bill Clintstone” is bound
to make an appearance.
Armed with the
new cartoon family, Barbera set off to New York to try and sell the idea to a
TV network. It was hard work and the series came close to never being made at
all. After 8 weeks of hard sell, still no one was interested, but an hour
before Barbera was due to fly home, ABC looked at it. They took to it at once
and agreed to broadcast the show. On 30 September 1960, the first episode was
shown. Most of the reviews were negative, some even hostile, but the viewers
absolutely loved it. Since then it has been translated into 22 languages and
has been seen in nearly every country in the world.
I. Choose the most suitable heading from the list A
– H for each part (1 – 7) of the text. There is one extra heading which you do
not need to use.
A Stone Age family in skins
A new idea
A popular show
Success at the eleventh hour
The most expensive show
An old story, modern problems
Doing some homework
questions 1 – 7, choose the correct answer A, B, C or D
1.What is surprising about The Flintsones’
a)It is on TV every day
b)Everyone likes it nowadays
c)The critics didn’t like it at first
d)All the episodes were shown in one day.
2.How did The Flintstones come about?
a)They had appeared in other cartoons
b)It was a popular idea with viewers
c)The producers wanted a Stone Age cartoon
d)Hanna and Barbera thought of the idea
3.Why did Hanna and Barbera choose a Stone Age
a)Stone Age people had problems like ours
b)The others didn’t look right.
c)It was the first idea that came to them.
d)They saw someone wearing Stone Age costume
4.What do the names “Rubble” and “Bedrock” have in
a)They are meant to be amusing
b)They are prehistoric materials
c)They are everyday objects
d)They are Stone Age gargets.
5.The Stone Age families
a)lived happy lives
b)were quite frightening
c)had modern problems.
d)Were taken from other TV series.
6.What was the reaction to the first episode?
a)Some critics loved it.
b)Some critics didn’t like it.
c)Some viewers were negative.
d)Few critics liked it.
7.The main purpose of the article is to
a)describe the people behind The Flintstones
b)Describe the origin of The Flintstones
c)Show how difficult it is to succeed in TV.
d)Describe the history of cartoons.
whether these statements are true or false.
1.Hanna and Barbera had never produced a
successful cartoon before The Flintstones.
2.The success of The Flintstones is due
mainly to Hanna and Barbera.
3.Hanna and Barbera were not keen on the name The