New-style test centres a 'waste of money'

Commons Transport Committee blasts Government for 'failing to listen adequately to the motorcycle industry'

THE GOVERNMENT has come under fire from a cross-party committee of MPs for wasting millions of pounds closing down local motorcycle test sites.

The Commons Transport Committee has criticised the implemetation of 66 new sites, claiming the process had been "inept", causing "significant cost and inconvenience to test candidates and trainers with little apparent gain."

The new-style centres were set up after a Europe-wide motorcycle exam started last April, as many of the country's existing facilities were deemed too small to carry out the new 'off-road' test.

The cross-party Transport Committee said "the new combination of tests is likely to help improve road safety, provided that the government and the industry work together, and that training for other road users to improve their awareness of motorcyclists on the road is improved too".
The Committee also said the smaller sites could have been retained saving millions of pounds, and the DSA had failed to listen adequately to the motorcycle industry.

The committee's chairman, Louise Ellman, 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".

The spokesman for the Driving Standards Agency said the organisation would respond fully to all recommendations in the report at a later date.