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Are trainers to blame for learners’ test crashes?

Published: 01 April 2010

Updated: 19 November 2014

Motorcycle trainers are booking people they have never seen ride onto a controversial new test in which scores of learners have crashed.

Poor preparation has been blamed for several learners suffering serious injuries on the new riding test. Yet MCN found trainers offering places without making any visual assessment of ability.

Our reporter was able to book a test for a month’s time by making a phone call to Budget Bike Training in Birmingham.

Within 30 minutes, our reporter received a text message from the firm saying: “We have got you a test Module 1 [on] 20.4.10.”

Module 1 is the name given to the part of the test in which learners have been crashing. It consists of exercises performed at test centres.

The test place was part of a fast-track three-day course which included just one day’s training. The final day is taken up by the second part of the test, conducted on the road.

The text message said our reporter was booked for this on April 21.

Budget Bike Training’s Sherman George defended the practice. He said: “What we would have been said to you on the Sunday [training day] is that, if you don’t feel you’re up to speed, if we don’t feel you’re up to the standard expected for the test, we have cancellation dates on the test.

"If we don’t cancel them, we sell them to somebody else that might want a re-test. Even though the dates are set effectively, they’re not set in stone.”

But Peter Woolcott, of Off the Kerb Motorcycle Training in London, said: “We do a three-day course but we insist they come down so we can assess them first.

"There’s no way anyone should be booked in on a three-day course without seeing them ride.”

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