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Steve Farrell  says:

£77 million of bike test centres scrapped

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...

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  • Posted 4 years ago (20 December 2010 12:20)

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Aug 02

Posts: 12


Having being a motorcycle instructor for nearly twenty years, I can say the DSA had this coming. As the commons select commitee proved earlier this year. They have listened to no one. They have always took matters into their own hands with no regard for anyone else.

Last month all instructors recieved a letter from the DSA, asking for their opinions on a rider registration training scheme and if an update in the CBT syllabus is needed.  This is a first for the DSA. Too little too late in my opinion and will they listen? Highly unlikely. This is deep routed, I know of very few training bodies that have a good word to say about the DSA. Change is coming but it's going to be slow.

There's fundamentally nothing wrong with module 1 as many people have said. It's the way that it's been implemented that is a farce. The pupils that have "incidents" on test are the ones that haven't had the training. As a training body we hire the MPTC at weekends to train people whicjh is absoluetly necessary for people to pass. The hazard avoidance can be made really easy with a bit of "know how". Most of Mod 1 is really the same as CBT. Where the DSA  made a mess of it is by making the swerve and braking as one exercise the EU Directive doesn't call for this and by not providing enough MPTC's. My training body is in Stoke-on-Trent and we have to have a round trip of between 70-90 miles depending on which MPTC we use for testing. It's a joke travelling for nearly 2 hours for a 10 minute test. Oh.....and some mod 1 sites are harder to pass at than others, that's why I never use Macclesfield for Mod 1 tests if I can help it...another cock up by the DSA. What worries me is, what if anything, will they replace it with? If it's left up to the DSA it will be another farce. Oh...and contrary to popular belief there were still "incidents" on the old test with U turns and emergency stops...but not normally reported as these were normally at quite slow speeds. Doing a swerve on puplic roads? Shouldn't be a problem ...we all swerve around potholes don't we? Could be a problem if it's swerve and stop though.

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Aug 02

Posts: 441

snave says:


...thinking further on this, should there be a FOI request on the number of staff at the DSA policing the bike test system over the last, say, five years? If the numbers of test candidates have dropped by 50 per cent, the number of test centres plummeted and the new test has no consultation or preparation involved, one would have expected the number of pigs with their noses in the trough to have declined commensurately, in line with the governments War on Wasteful and Needless Kretinosiy - or W.A.N.K. as it's better known..? Oh now wouldn't that be a funny figure to have...

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Nov 09

Posts: 1

winterjeff says:

Anyone that waits another twelve months to avoid doing the current test is off their head. Just get it done and be done with it. There is no way of telling at this point if the new will be better than the old. Old test gets all the maneuver stuff done without the complications of car drivers.

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Aug 02

Posts: 1519

superbol says:


Spot on sir !

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Jul 10

Posts: 2

Tyfio says:

As an Instructor, I have no problem with Module 1 and neither do the vast majority of our students. As has been said, the "incidents" tend to happen to those who have not had any training at all and have just turned up, either legally on their own 125 or illegally on a DAS level bike, at a mod 1 centre to "ride round a few cones". If the hazard avoidance and the controlled stop excercises were split, then I feel the number of "incidents" would reduce overnight. It would NOT reduce the chances of coming off, on the emergency stop exercise, but that used to happen, fairly regularly, on the road, under the old style test. I think that any form of avoidance excercise should take place off road, purely from a safety point of view. Also, if it is raining reduce the speed requirement from 50kph to 45kph (31.5mph to 28mph). Finally, alter the speed measured elements so the candidate must do between 50 and 60kph. How many of the incidents, were as a result of candidates massivly exceeding the 50kph requirement, I have seen some people hit 65kph (41mph) during the avoidance and send cones flying, not any of our students, I hasten to add! Is that the fault of the excercise or the candidate failing to do it properly? There is too much focus on doing enough speed, rather than doing the correct speed. 

An alteration to module 1, rather than scrapping it, would be the way to go, using the existing MPTC system. The biggest problem is actually getting hold of tests, to offer to students, rather than the test system itself.   

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Dec 10

Posts: 1

chris85 says:

Waste of time and money

I just feel sorry for everyone who has had to travel blood miles to one of these mod 1 test centres, often having to pay their instructor all the way as well. And if you should fail you repeat the whole exercise and expense again. I passed my test a couple of months back and i'm lucky my test centre was just round the corner.

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Sep 10

Posts: 18

luxybob says:

Impact to training providers

Of course this is positive news, the current set up was taking it too far. But spare a thought for those 'old' training providers who had to close as they were not located near to one of the test centres,  or the ones who remained and who have increased capacity only to see the rules changes now hit them where it hurts.

Someone should make sure that the changes, when they come, are there for a reasonable period of time.

Lastly,if you did take the test with a good training centre then you would have found both the mod 1 and 2 exams easily passable and have been trained to a good level in order to safely enjoy biking.

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Sep 10

Posts: 1318

SatNavSteve says:


You have come up with the best comment here. I've always thought that learning to ride away from the road is the way to go. When people learn to ride, they have to think about the bike and the road at the same time. If you can learn to control the bike first with no distractions i.e.  other traffic, diesel, cow shit, suicidal cyclists etc. you are then able to control the bike automatically and concentrate more on the road when you do get out with all the other traffic. The only snag is the cost but maybe a few training centres could get together and pay between them for a particular area with a bit of help from the government! Or am I expecting too much from the powers that be!

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Mar 08

Posts: 45

Charro says:

twist in the tale 2


Yep I've just read Back Road Riders blog too. That post test training thing must only be a rumour, but it would explain the 'real deal' the industry seem to have come out with on this one.

Most of us seemed to think that the test would just get tweaked but man this is root and branch jobby, just making it easier to pass. So Penning must have got something out of the deal safety wise.

Interesting point in a comment on that blog to. The BMF and MAG guardians of rider safety, never thought about that one before.

BTW have a Merry Christmas if you happen to read this, and if you are out and about this Yule take care.


[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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Sep 09

Posts: 887

Rogerborg says:

That makes a certain kind of sense

1) Easier/cheaper test - huzzahs from bikers

2) Buy a bike - huzzahs from the MCI.

3) Get further training on the bike you actually ride, rather than a test centre hack - huzzahs from trainers.

I can think of worse ways to do it, although the legalities might be tricksy, especially when you consider we're very nearly at a single European license now.

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