The DSA’s decision to make the test available at just 66 centres nationwide, instead of the previous 260+, will make it more difficult to get a test booked, and that’s before any of these new riders actually faces the ride to get to one of the new ‘test super centres’.
As things stand at the moment most tests are booked as part of a package offered by training schools, courses such as the DAS (Direct Access) course and availability has always been pretty good. But after the introduction of the new test a greater number of training establishments will be sharing the new test centres, which will result in many fewer bookings for each riding school.
Many riding schools must now be doubting how secure their futures are when taking the the current status of the new test centres into account. Some are reporting that the numbers of learners they may be able to book in for tests may be reduced by half. How long are riding schools going to be able to continue with that kind of a drop in the revenue?
Plus, if take into consideration the increases in fees imposed by the DSA in recent months you will begin to wonder how many people will actually look at taking their bike test now. Additionally fees for taking riding courses will no doubt go up as schools have to cover the costs of getting learner riders to the test centres. Some new riders, already nervous at the prospect of thaking their test ,may face a journey of 45 minutes or more just to get to their test centre.
The implementation of the new test was delayed by 6 months last September as only 38 of the 66 new test centres was ready for business. Since last September just 6 new ones have been added and the remaining 22 areas have only temporary or weekend only test centres. All of my local riding schools now face sharing a test centre which is only open on Tuesdays!!! It’s a joke!
Considering the new test was implemented to increase rider safety, there are fears that a growing number of riders will be put off going the new test route and will just take to the road without a licence.
Well done DSA.. A gold medal is coming your way.. for making a right ba**s up of this!