Roads are the means that connect one place to another on the surface of the land. Different vehicles ply on roads like bullock carts, cycles, motorcycles, cars, truck, buses, etc. All of these constitute different means of road transport. The means of road transport may be divided into three types: –
- Man driven;
- Animal driven;
- Motor driven.
Individuals can carry their goods on their head, back or on bicycles, and move from one place to another. People also ride a bicycle or use rickshaw to travel short distances. We also find animal driven vehicles like carts (drawn by bullocks, camels, horses, donkeys, etc.) used in rural areas to carry crops, straw, fodder and sometimes even people. Sometimes even animals are directly used to carry goods from one place to another. In areas, which are normally covered with snow throughout the year, we find sledges pulled by
dogs used to carry both passengers and goods.
Compared with man driven and animal-driven means of road transport, motor driven means of transport have become more important over the years. This is due to their speedy movement and larger carrying capacity. Extension of roads to every corner of the country has also enhanced the use of motor driven transport. The types of motor vehicles used to carry goods and passengers include auto-rickshaws, scooters, vans, buses and trucks, etc.
Advantages of Road transport
Road transport has the following advantages.
- It is a relatively cheaper mode of transport as compared to other modes.
- Perishable goods can be transported at a faster speed by road carriers over a short distance.
- It is a flexible mode of transport as loading and unloading is possible at any destination. It provides door-to-door service.
- It helps people to travel and carry goods from one place to another, in places which are not connected by other means of transport like hilly areas.
Limitations of Road transport
It has the following limitations:
- Due to limited carrying capacity road transport is not economical for long distance transportation of goods.
- Transportation of heavy goods or goods in bulk by road involves high cost.
- It is affected by adverse weather conditions. Floods, rain, landslide, etc., sometimes create obstructions to road transport.