£77 million of bike test centres scrapped

By Steve Farrell -

General news

 20 December 2010 12:18

A controversial off-road part of the motorcycle test is to be scrapped under Government proposals announced this morning.

From the end of next year, learners will have to take just one practical test instead of two, according to Road Safety Minister Mike Penning. 

It will be conducted entirely on-road and offered at a greater number of sites across the country than the off-road test.  

A swerve exercise in which hundreds of learners have crashed will also be scrapped. The exercise, which currently has to be off-road because riders must reach at least 31mph to pass, will be replaced by a ‘more flexible’ on-road version.

At least £77million was spent on off-road test centres because candidates were expected to ride at least 1mph faster than our urban speed limit. 

But speaking to exclusively to MCN, Penning said the swerve and other exercises in the off-road test could be adapted for the road at 30mph. 

He said: “The test candidate will have to ride at around 30mph. This 31mph thing was a piece of gold-braiding by the previous administration. As far as my legal advice is concerned, we can do this on the road.” 

The news follows an MCN campaign for a shake-up of the test, which has seen bookings halve since its introduction in April 2009. It concludes a Government review announced by Penning in MCN in June.

Read more on this in MCN, on sale December 22.