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2011 – Its post test training time!!

December 31, 2010


Fowey, England – With the ink only just dry on the proposals to de Europeanise the UK motorcycle test and turn it into something uniquely British the queue is forming to get in on the act.

Step forward the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) which represents 2,000 staff in the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). It seems that the PCS has ‘grave’ concerns over the dangers faced by their motorcycle test examiner members if the UK government’s ideas about testing manoeuvres being moved onto public roads come to fruition.

Is it the safety issue or the fact that PCS members will be more than five minutes away from a nice warm office and a hot cup of tea that’s the problem? Come on PCS man up. Some of us can remember when the test took place on Britain’s mean streets with the examiner running from corner to corner to check the candidate’s progress. Dressed in a standard issue ‘Ministry’ duffle coat carrying a clip board and with a packet of sandwiches and a thermos of hot cocoa in a pocket for company.

Mind you if the examiners are in danger what about the candidates. PCS have pointed out that the current motorcycle test provides a “safe off-road area with a high grip surface and no street furniture such as kerbs, road studs or drain covers”.  They also reckon that “injuries to the small proportion of candidates who have fallen from their bikes on the off-road area have been minor”.  Pointing out that if candidates were on the public highway there would be “danger from other traffic as well as street furniture which could result in serious injury or death”.

An interesting PCS point on costs. Mike Penning, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, has said the motorcycle test should become a single event test. PCS point out that “this means motorcycle candidates will now have to pay more and risk losing £75 rather than the current £15.50 fee if they fail.

Just can’t wait for the PCS and DSA reaction when the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI) and the Motorcycle Industry Trainers Association (MCITA) break cover with their alleged plans to persuade Penning to end the DSA’s current monopoly on motorcycle testing. Free market Conservative mantra rules ok! No it couldn’t be could it? The decision to trial a British version of euro test a political one, of course not its all about safety isn’t it.

While over on ‘the rock’ sorry MCI HQ at Rye Hill, Coventry 2011 has been declared post test training year.

Yep its time we all rushed out found a MCITA instructor who is part of the Enhanced Rider Scheme (ERS) and made it our new year resolution to get on a post test training course. Time to take your riding to a new level. One that does not include the back of a bus, a ditch, a hedge and a trip to the local hospital on blue lights. Not a bad idea actually. That’s the training not the blue lights!

Oh and the sub plot. Well it’s very slow in motorcycle test training at the moment and instructors need to eat. So take pity on one and enrol on an ERS course or two. Then of course there’s that rumour about post test training being made compulsory. Remember that Institute of Advance Motorists (IAM) alleged lobbying thingy. Well if its true MCITA will want some of the action so better stake a claim now to ensure participation when the contracts get divied up.

As this is the last BRR piece for 2010 I take the opportunity to wish you a cracking and safe riding 2011.

Happy New Year!!!

© Back Roads Rider 2010

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  1. El Camino – The Road

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