Motorcycle Test Reported To Be In Crisis

December 9, 2010

Now don’t get me wrong, I know there are fewer people taking their bike test since the new one was bought out but I do have issues with the way this is being reported.  Here is the article as it’s being reported online on the Motorcycle News website.

A crisis hitting the number of people taking the motorcycle test is even deeper than previously feared, latest figures show.

Eighteen months after a new Europe-wide test was introduced, the number of people taking it was still barely half the former level.

When bookings dropped drastically following the changeover last year, the Driving Standards Agency said it was temporary and demand would “settle at usual levels again in 2010/11”.

But new DSA figures point to a long-term decline.

In the 16 months leading up to the introduction of the new exam in April 2009, 130,498 people took the old test, a rate of 8156 a month.

But in the 18 months following the changeover, only 73,508 people completed the new test, 4083 a month and almost half the earlier rate.

The Government is conducting a review of the test, which was originally intended to reach conclusions by autumn.

Roads minister Mike Penning said: “The review of the motorcycle test is a top priority for me because I want to make sure that we have a test which prepares bikers properly for the road.

“We have been working with the motorcycle training industry and others to make sure that we are taking all views into account and we will report on findings as soon as possible.”

My problem is in the way these figures are being presented (sorry MCN).

As a lot of you know, the new test was originally scheduled to start in September 2008 but, because of bungling incompetance, so few of the new test centres were ready for use, the implementation of the test was put back about 6 months.  In the lead up to September 2008 thousands upon thousands of people decided to get their bike licence under the old test regime and so booked lessons and their test.  I should know,  I was one of them!!!  I took one look at the new test and thought “S*d that!!!”

During 2008, riding schools all over the country were inundated with trainees learning to ride, which definately skews the figures somewhat, as in a normal riding year fewer people would be taking their test.  Then the test was put back 6 months so that more of the new test centres could be made ready, and those who thought they had missed the original deadline were given a life line and once again the riding schools were booked solid, even though it was winter

According to the DSA  some 130,498 people took their test in the 18 months leading up to the change of test.  I’m pretty damn certain a sizeable number of those were riders who wanted to take the old style test and not the new one.

Now, since the new test started 18 months ago the DSA say that just 73,508 people have taken it, a drop of almost 50% on the previous figures.

BUT…… Seeing as the figures from September 2007 until April 2009 are hardly indicative of the number of people taking their bike test during a ‘normal’ 16 month period, I don’t see how they can be reliably compared with those from May 2009 up until late 2010.

Unless of course you’re attempting to make things look worse than they are 😉

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Female Rider’s Bad CBT Experience

May 18, 2009

L PlatesBeing a female rider I do hear of occasions where girls seem to get a raw deal when trying to learn to ride, but this one I heard about today just about takes the biscuit as far as I’m concerned!

A 25 year old girl wants to learn to ride, has a bike already and is busting to get out on the road on it, so she rings an instructor and tells him she wants to take her CBT.  She says she wants to do it on his bike (hers isn’t taxed or anything yet) and also advises that she is 5 foot tall.  After reassurance that this wont be a problem she books the CBT.

So she turns up a few days ago, undoubtably a bit excited about learning to ride, and goes through the two and a half hours of indoor classes covering theory, safety and bike controls.

All well and good so far, yes?

So it’s time to go out and actually sit on a bike and start putting all the theory into practice.  She gets on the bike, and the instructor takes one look and says “Sorry – You can’t touch the floor flat with both feet.  Forget it kid. Go home!!!” (She’s 25 years old for goodness sake!!)

He then went on to tell her that she will never ride anything other than a cruiser, but can’t so her CBT on one because of the larger turning circle needed by cruisers.  Also she should sell her bike and give up.  In addition, he repeatedly told her that if she rode the bike she owned she would crash it, and probably die!!!

According to this particular instructor “the law” states she has to be able to touch both feet flat on the floor and if she couldn’t she wouldn’t be able to take a test plus would be laughed off the training ground!  He also told her husband the same thing when he rang up later to find out what had happened.

To top it all off, she paid for a FULL CBT lesson and test and now the instructor is refusing the refund any of the money!!!!!!!!!

I simply cannot believe he has behaved in such a way towards a paying customer and as for saying “the law” says you can’t ride a bike unless both feet are on the floor.. It’s a load of b******s!!!

Both myself and several other girls have advised her to report the instructor and to demand a refund.  I hope she does and many such incidents go unreported and unless the DSA is aware they are unable to do anything to prevent such occurances happening again!

ooooo… it’s enough to make my blood boil!!!!!!!

Please feel free to comment…


Great Start To The New Motorcycle Test

April 30, 2009

Motorcycle L-Plate The new ‘Super Test Centre’ at Rotherham, South Yorkshire, has come under fire this morning after the first candidate crashed his bike and broke his arm!

The DSA’s new centre opened for motorcycle tests on Monday for the new part one of the motorcycle test which must be taken off road due to that fact that some of the manoeuvres have to be done at 31mph.

Concerns are being voiced up and down the country by riding instructors after finding out that the test moves HAVE to be carried out at the same speed and over the same distances, whether it’s a nice sunny day or chucking it down with rain!  Instructors have been told that the surface is fitted with a super sticky compound which makes it safe in all weathers.

John Atkin, spokesman for the DSA, has said of the test centres:

“The areas used for the motorcycle manoeuvres have been tested thoroughly in both wet and dry conditions and provide a safe environment for the candidate. Tests have continued successfully at Rotherham since this happened.

I personally would like to know who is actually testing these centres.  Is it experienced riders who may very well be able to cope with doing these kinds of exercises, or is it novice riders who have recently learned to ride a bike? It would be interesting to find out.

The instructor who trained the man who was injured said the following

“Adam did his swerve manoeuvres and put his brakes on so he could stop in the required distance.
“But the back end of the bike swerved round and threw him off, leaving him with a very nasty break to his arm which needs surgery.
“All the instructors around here agree this is a joke. It’s common sense that you wouldn’t ride the same in the wet. They’ve just thrown common sense out of the window.

On the same day at the same centre, another young man fell from his bike, and was uninjured, and a girl failed the test, in the pouring rain, for being 1kph too slow.

I don’t know about the rest of you,  but if it’s raining I slow down on my bike and yet the DSA is expecting new riders to carry out manoeuvres at the same speed as you would in the dry!  It just doesn’t seem right.  Plus, if you think about this, new riders will be suffering from ‘test nerves’, I know I was when I took my test and this may well be a contributing factor.

I really feel for anyone looking at taking their test now, it can be done but it not an experience I would want to go through.  I’m just glad I passed my test before this was bought into effect!

Full Story


Motorcycle Groups Warning Of Test Chaos

April 4, 2009

Motorcycle L-Plate The new motorcycle test comes into effect at the end of this month, and motorcycle groups are warning that the system is not sufficiently geared up to avoid chaos.

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!

Full story


HOT NEWS – New Motorcycle Test Implementation Date Changes

February 21, 2009

motorcyclelplate.jpgI was at one of my local bike shops, who also does training,  this morning and was reliably informed that the FINAL date for taking the old motorcycle test has been put back now until FRIDAY 24th APRIL.

Apparently this is to allow for the implementation of the new test to come in more smoothly!

So if you are looking at trying to take your motorcycle test before the new one comes into effect it now looks like you have a few extra weeks in which to take the old style test.

Ring your local training school now if you want to be in with a chance of getting your test booked before Friday April 24th, they are getting booked solid.


2009 Motorcycle Test – Test Can Now Be Split

February 3, 2009

Motorcycle L-Plate It has been announced by Jim Fitzpatrick, our Roads Minister, that from 27th April 2009 learner motorcyclists will be able to take the two parts of the new 2009 motorcycle tests on different days if they want to. 

This means that they will be able to take the new manoeuvres part of the test at one of the specially built test centres, and then take the on road section of the test at an existing test centre, probably closer to home, is they choose.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) seriously messed up last year with the building of these new test centres, as not enough of them were completed in time for the original launch in October 2008. 

Personally I reckon they know there won’t be enough of the new test centre’s open by March 30th 2009 (Why am I not surprised?)and this is the way it is being dealt with this time.

Instead of clogging up the test centres, and having the examiners do both parts of the test on each appointment, I’m wondering if they will ‘advise’ people to do the second part of the test at the centre they would have had it at before the new test came in. 

At the end of the day I still don’t believe the new test launch is going to be smooth, if anything I feel sorry for anyone looking at taking their test after the cut off date.  I reckon it’s going to be a nightmare!  I can’t see how they can postpone the new test launch yet again, without looking like inept idiots!

There are still huge area’s of the country not covered by one of these new test centres, remember new riders were not ‘supposed’ to have to ride more than 20 miles to their motorbike test.  Some are still going to have to ride a lot further and personally I really feel for them.  Imagine those poor riders who have only just learned to ride and are having to go 40 miles through rush hour traffic to take their test early in the day! Its madness!!

Talk about a baptism by fire!

While rider groups have welcomed the news announced yesterday, they, like me, are still concerned about the distances some people will have to travel.

It’s not going to be fun for some of the new riders out there!

 

Please check out my other entries about the 2009 Motorcycle Test

Countdown To The New Motorcycle test.. Again!

New Motorcycle Test Centres – Updated List

Motorcycle Tests To Be Cancelled On Cold Days


New Motorcycle Test Centres – Updated List

January 8, 2009

I have found the updated list of the DSA’s new motorcycle test centres and if you click on the sites near you, you will be able to see what the state of play is at your nearest test centre. 

DSA Test Centre List

As you can see from browsing through the list there are going to be huge area’s of the country where learner riders will have to travel quite some distance to their nearest test centre. 

Stuff  doing that!  People are going to be nervous enough about taking their test without having to ride for an hour and a half to get to their nearest test centre, like I would have to if I was taking my test after March!

In some places the location still shows as ‘site identified!!’  So much for the facilities being in place before March!!

If you can get the cash together to do it before March 30th, then I would suggest you go for it and book as soon as possible before the training schools are booked solid again.