New test launched in Northern Ireland

Published: 17 December 2008

A new-style motorcycle test has been launched in Northern Ireland.

Learner riders there must now pass three tests – a theory test, a manoeuvres test and a practical on-road test. Previously riders have had to pass the theory test and an on-road test only.

The new examination includes slow moving exercises, riding in a curve at 30kmh (19mph) and an emergency braking exercise from 50kmh (31mph).

Northern Ireland environment minister Sammy Wilson said: “It is important that motorcyclists are fully equipped for the challenges they will face on the road. The new motorcycle manoeuvres test will enable examiners to test core skills in an off-road environment.”

The new test is due to be launched in the rest of the UK on March 30 under a European directive. It was originally scheduled for September 29 but had to be postponed because new multi-purpose test centres were not ready in time.

To find out why the £71 million test centres could have to close in winter, get MCN, on sale January 7.