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DSA Mismanagement of Motorcycle Training and Testing Needs to Stop - Say industry and Riders Are Voters

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The Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI) and its Riders Are Voters partners are today highlighting the urgent need for the next Government to sort out the Driving Standards Agency's (DSA) mismanagement of rider training and licensing issues.

MCI and RAV say that there needs to be a proper partnership between the motorcycle community and the Government on the management of testing and licensing policy. Industry, trainers and riders groups need to be a full part of the policy making process, rather than simply ignored in stage managed consultation meetings. In addition, new Ministers will need to take a far more active involvement in motorcycle licensing matters.

The motorcycling world's frustration with the DSA focuses around a litany of serious issues in relation to the Agency's management of testing and training. These include:

. The Parliamentary Transport Select Committee said that the introduction of 2DLD had been bungled and £millions of public money wasted
. Test candidates are facing difficulties in getting a motorcycle test due to the reduced number of test centres. (down from over 200 to just 45 sites for the 'module one' test)
. There has been a fall in candidate numbers (over 60%), suggesting that a 'permanent learner' situation is arising
. The financial cost of the over complexity of the DSA interpretation of simple EU regulations
. A consultation on further European licensing regulations (3DLD) was complicated and even DSA's officials did not understand what they had written.
. The DSA's refusal to include the option for progressive licence upgrades in the 3DLD, so that as training  standards and quality assurance regimes improve, a training, rather than testing, option could be implemented more easily
. The Enhanced Rider Scheme, has a low rider take-up. The DSA do not even have a method of recording how many riders have taken and passed the scheme.
. The DSA's recently proposed National Riding Standard includes bizarre and unnecessary provisions for carrying pets and towing trailers.

In the last week of the General Election campaign, MCI calls on motorcyclists to support the Riders are Voters campaign, which is online at www.ridersarevoters.org, to ensure that motorcycling voices are heard by Parliamentary Candidates. This is so that Government policy can be improved for the 1.5 million active riders in the UK and that more people can choose to take up biking and enjoy the Co2 and congestion-busting benefits.

Steve Kenward, MCI's CEO said;  "The seemingly unresolved issues of accessing and booking tests, is still causing massive problems for trainers and is ultimately reducing the number of riders coming forward for tests.  This is further damaging for the motorcycle industry and adding cost and inconvenience for riders and trainers. Parliament agreed and we now expect the DSA to sort the problems out.

"To add insult to injury, we are now faced with the implementation of the Third European Driving Licence Directive.  We have reason to believe that once again the DSA is ready to create similar complications, problems and costs to consumers.

"The DSA's attitude to the 3DLD consultation has been unsympathetic to the point where a complaint by industry to the Parliamentary Ombudsman has been lodged. The complain puts forward several reasons why the industry feels that the consultation was inappropriate and badly thought out."

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