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All Change for Trainers

November 11, 2009

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Rugby, England – At last the speculation and rumour that has been sloshing around the UK motorcycle trade for the past few months is over. It has been announced that the UK motorcycle industry‘s training associations have merged under the umbrella of the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA).

In an eminently sensible move, in light of the up coming European Union Consultation on the Third Driving Licence Directive (3rdDLD), the Motor Cycle Industry Trainers Association (MCITA) and Motorcycle Rider Training Association (MRTA) have merged to form the Motorcycle Industry Trainers Association (MCITA). We can now move forward to fight the UK’s corner in the forthcoming battle over common sense legislation that will form the heart of the 3rdDLD.

The 3rdDLD is at the core of the future of biking in Europe, while the recently introduced 2nd Driving Licence Directive dealt with the introduction of a pan European standard for motorcycle training and testing the 3rd DLD will set out a new framework related to the minimum age for riding, a new licence category and options for riders to move through licensing categories via a training or testing route. Riders will have to progress through engine sizes, via a specified training and testing regime, with access to machines over 500cc likely to be barred to those under 24 years of age.

There is speculation that the introduction of a much tougher licensing regime will be the death knell of the super bike era. But there are some positives like the introduction of a middle weight bike licence category that could see a range of new 35kw urban sensible motorcycles, with outstanding green credentials, take to the streets.

A tougher ask is the preservation of the licence category that allows, in some EU states, 14 year olds to ride light weight motorcycles. If this is successfully preserved and introduced into the UK, a fight akin to one surrounding the banning of fox-hunting, it would at last offer a cross over interface to allow young people to move from bicycles to a powered form of transport. It’s in the 14-16 age groups where action is needed not only to ensure safety but to encourage young people to see a motorcycle or scooter as a viable form of personal transport and not just a week-end hobby item.

Lets hope that this time around the UK Department of Transport, the Driving Standards Agency, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, the Motorcycle Industry Association and the user group stakeholders can come together in a meaningful way, thrash out what we want and take that message to Brussels. Its time to leave egos and self-interest at the door, for MCIA to drop its usual, “we support you but reserve the right to lobby on our own views” mantra and get into Europe with a united front.

What we want is well-trained properly tested and safe riders so let’s do it, but with a soft touch and no gold plating.

Sure that’s simplistic but then all the best ideas are.

The main aspects of the new requirements for motorcycle training and testing are:

The current two categories of motorbike will be replaced with three A1 (up to 125cc), A2 (up to 35Kw) and A (above 35Kw) – and new rules introduced for riders of larger bikes. Riders wanting to progress to larger categories of motorbikes will have to take additional training or a further test and there will be a rise in the minimum age from 21 to 24 for those wishing to start riding larger bikes without previous experience.

The consultation ‘Driver Testing, Training, Examining and Licensing: Implementing New European Union Requirements’ begins today and will close on 5 February 2010. The consultation can be found here……

To whom it may concern and everyone else to who it probably doesn’t. I have received a somewhat irate communication from an associate who is concerned in relation to scurrilous rumours relating to his involvement in the Back Roads Rider blog. Apparently rabid speculation at MAG HQ in Rugby has drawn the wrong conclusion as to who I am. I must therefore point out that although this blog draws on photograph content obtained from a most excellent site maintained on Flickr I am NOT the person who maintains said website. Indeed unlike me that particular Flickrist has been sighted in Harley Davidson dealerships but has not been sighted in a dress, well not in public at least! So you see I could be sitting across the table from you at that next meeting!

They seek him? here, they seek him? there.
Is he? in heaven or is he? in hell?
That dammed elusive Back Roads Rider or Riderette.


Last Sunday was the UK National Remembrance Day today is Armistice Day, the annual commemoration of the moment that the guns of the First World War stopped firing 91 years ago. If you enjoy reading this blog please reflect for a moment on the fact that it’s only the sacrifice of huge numbers of mostly young men and women, both conscripts and volunteers, which allows me the freedom to write it and you the freedom to read it.

© Back Roads Rider 2009

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Dave permalink
    November 12, 2009 10:03 am

    ‘Common sense legislation’? Surely that is an oxymoron?
    In the 3DLD consultation published by the DfT it quite clearly says that hardly anyone will bother going through the graduated licence process between 17 & 24 but will just wait until they can do direct access at 24. So why are the DfT bothering to spend £millions on something which is likely to remain massively under used? And why is it safe for a 24 year old to go from never having ridden, do a weeks course and then sling a leg over a new Gixxer thou but not for a 23 year to do it? The Governments own stats show that KSI’s for motorcycling peak for the ages 35-55, how is effectively stopping people riding until their 24 going to make any difference to that?

  2. Blue permalink
    November 18, 2009 9:15 am

    It just doesn’t occur to many people that a blog about motorcycling could be written by a women, or even a man in a dress :))

    I hope you’re never ‘outed’

    • backroadsrider permalink
      November 18, 2009 5:38 pm

      Absolutely. England’s the home of assumption

      But I’ve hung out in bike clubs most of my life and most often gender doesn’t occur to me either. I’ve always been more interested in what their ride is and their opinion rather than their gender.

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