The government has been asked to delay for at least six months the introduction of a new-style motorcycle test which is due to come into force in October.
Various organisations including the Motorcycle Rider Training Association (MRTA) and the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI) are calling for the introduction to be postponed because of concern over the number of new test centres that will be operational in October.
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) was aiming to have 66 new Multi Purpose Test Centres (MPTCs) ready for the October deadline. However, that figure is likely to be closer to 40.
Karen Cooke of the MCIA said: “At the moment there are 240 test centres in the UK, but come October there will be 40 and that’s disgraceful. Some of those 40 centres will only be used on weekends and the Government say once the 60 have been built they won’t be introducing anymore, it’s all very worrying.”
Test centres have had to be changed because the new bike test, being introduced as part of European directive, features an off-road section, which you must pass before you will be allowed out on the road.
“The MCI have no issue with a new test being introduced, just the fact that there will be fewer test centres and it will be a lot harder for budding-motorcyclists to get there.
“The Government say they’re on target to introduce most of their test centres, but common sense says there’s going to be huge expanses of the country without a test centre,” added Cooke.
Her concerns are echoed by MRTA chairman Kevin Bryan who said: “The training industry has long expressed concern that the DSA was unlikely to meet its targets.
"It has become clear that with an MPTC network that is nowhere near complete and associated infrastructure and service provision issues including test booking and capacity concerns, Government has no option but to call a stop to this implementation to avoid chaos in the training industry and unacceptable extra training costs to new riders.”
“We believe that the extremely long journey times to test centres for some novice riders could make training unaffordable in certain locations.”
For those of you who are thinking about taking your test, sadly it’s now too late to book for the current test. If you book now only dates for the new-style test will be available.