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Motorcycle Testing – Millions Spent, Nothing Gained say bmf

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The British Motorcyclists Federation have welcomed the findings of the Transport Select Committee’s report ‘The new European motorcycle test’ published today, bearing out the bmf’s own submission to the committee that the introduction of the new test by the Driving Standards Agency had been ‘gold plated’, badly handled and poorly executed.
The bmf totally supports the main conclusions of the committee that the Government’s decision to introduce large Multi Purpose Test Centres (MPTCs) and close down many small, convenient motorcycle test sites was ‘unjustified’, that it’s implementation was ‘bungled’ and that it ‘was unacceptable that the Driving Standards Agency has failed to get all 66 planned centres operational, therefore delaying introduction of the new test.’
In launching the report, Committee Chair, Louise Ellman MP said, “many candidates and trainers now have to travel too far for their motorcycle test. This adds to the cost, and in some cases, exposes candidates to fast and dangerous roads on the way to a test site - before they have even taken their test. The Driving Standards Agency needs to give much greater priority to customer service and convenience for test candidates and trainers.”
The planned MPTCs, unique within Europe, were budgeted at £72 million but are still not all operational. Worse still say the bmf, they were primarily constructed to carry out a combined swerve and stop test that is not prescriptive in the directive, something the committee agreed the DSA should have been more flexible over. 
The bmf is pleased to note that the Committee supports this line and that it also ‘condemns Ministers’ failure to negotiate an exemption from the EU requirement that parts of the test should be performed at 50 km/h (31.07 mph).’ The Committee MPs said that ‘it is both bizarre and confusing that tests should be performed at speeds not permitted on the public highway in built-up areas, and that it should be measured in units not commonly used in the UK.’
Commenting on the report, the bmf’s Government Relations Executive Chris Hodder said: “We have always maintained that the Government should have negotiated a derogation from this directive, so allowing most of the testing to be done on UK roads, however, this is now so it is a matter of real urgency that the Government takes heed of this damning report and at the least increases the number of operational MPTCs.”
The bmf will be joining forces with other interest groups in lobbying the incoming government.  

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