£800,000 of riders’ cash to be pocketed by Government
Over £800,000 of riders’ cash will be pocketed by the Government in the ongoing motorcycle test shake-up fiasco.
Learners who paid £20 extra for the new motorcycle test will not be refunded even though they will be offered the cheaper old-style test instead.
Around 10,000 riders who booked the new test will be offered the old one after the changeover was postponed six months. Each paid the £80 price for the new test instead of the £60 fee for the old one. But instead of handing back the difference, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has announced the money will be kept.
The original start date for the new higher-priced test was September 29. A failure to get enough test centres ready led to it being posponed to March 30 – but not the new charge.
The DSA says over 38,000 tests were booked during the same six-month period in 2007 to 2008. The Motorcycle Industry Association says even more bookings are expected in 2008 to 2009 following a surge in new bike sales driven by high fuel prices.
It could bring the total overcharges to over £800,000.
The DSA has claimed the extra money will cover the growing cost of providing the old-style test but Shadow Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said it was “obviously designed to cover the additional costs of the new test, not the existing one”.
He added: “This is outrageous. I don’t think Dick Turpin would have got away with it. I know the Government are hard up at the moment but I think they should press a £20 note into everybody’s hand as they go to take the test.”