MOTORCYCLE test passes have fallen to an all-time low since the introduction of the new two-part motorcycle test.
The two-part test has failed the motorcycle industry in many ways since it began; making it harder for people to get onto two wheels and causing a huge decline in sales of motorcycles - which has accelerated the closure of dealerships across the country who were already struggling due to the recession.
Just 26,000 riders passed their test in 2009/2010, compared to 70,000 the year before. Prior to the two-part test being introduced, the average number of people passing their test stood at 55,000. 70,000 passed in 2008 - over 15,000 higher - as many people chose to push-forward their plans to take their motorcycle test before the complex two-part test was introduced.
Visordown spoke to Karen Cole, Director of Safety for the Motorcycle Industry Association, who said the test centres were too far away for most people and the fact the test starts at 8.30 in the morning at a lot of test centres meant it was hard for people to get to their test centre, especially in poor weather conditions.
There is also a shortage of instructors and examiners: All motorcycle examiners have to first qualify as a car examiner and often motorcycle examiners are taken off to cover car-test duties. The DSA is currently hoping to recruit another 50 motorcycle examiners to add to the 150 across the UK.
It's clear that motorcycle sales - which are dropping by over 20% every year - will not pick-up if the number of people passing their motorcycle test continues to scrape rock bottom. It's time the industry acted to lobby the government to completely change the disasterous two-part test.