Road Safety - Transport Committee Contents

6  Motorcycle safety

Report on the new European motorcycle test

41.  In March 2010 our predecessor Committee published its report into the new European motorcycle test, which changed the way in which motorcycle driver competence was assessed in the UK. There were numerous criticisms of these new arrangements, particularly the decision to move part of the test off-road. As a result, the Government initiated a review of the test in June 2010, with a view to redesigning the test once more.[118]  This revised test may be implemented in some areas from next year.[119] It will involve candidates moving back on-road for their test and as a result a number of the off-road test centres developed for the European test will be redundant.[120] The capital cost of these centres was £71 million.[121]

42.  We encountered real concerns that lessons had not been learnt from this debacle. The Motor Cycle Industry Association warned that the same problems could arise with future European directives without proper evaluation of this "mess, complication and bureaucracy".[122] Given the long-running difficulties experienced by the department in producing a clear and coherent strategy for motorcycle training, we recommend that the DfT should, in its reply to this report, explain what lessons it has learnt from this episode and how it will go about implementing future European directives on the subject of driver or rider training without undue delay.

Government response

43.  We have not yet received a response from the Government to the 2010 report. This is despite assurances from Mr Penning that the DfT would produce the response "as soon as we can"[123] or even "before the recess".[124] The department has provided some information about its progress in this area.[125] We are prepared to wait for a formal response to this report until the Government's policy is finally decided, but in the meantime, we recommend that the department write to us on a quarterly basis to explain progress in this area.

118   Strategic Framework p53  Back

119   Q 61 Back

120   Q 374 Back

121   Work of the Driving Standards Agency and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, HC 1610-i,Q20 (Rosemary Thew) Back

122   Q 61 Back

123   Q373 Back

124   Q 378 Back

125   Letter from Mr Penning, dated 27 March 2012, published on Transport Committee website Back

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Prepared 18 July 2012