February 10 2009.

While some elements of the new two-part testing process for a motorcycle driving licence have been welcomed, the British Motorcyclists Federation has accused the DSA of wasting money on a consultation process when the outcome had already been decided.

The new two-part test is part of the European Union's Second Driving Licence Directive and will be introduced in April. It has its merits say the BMF, but the cost to learner motorcyclists will have risen from £60 last September to £90.50 come this October, a 50% increase in a year! Secondly, the wait between re-tests of three days after a Part 1 fail, but ten days after a Part 2 fail, is nonsensical and illogical say the BMF.

Commenting the BMF's Government Relations Executive Chris Hodder said: "This really is a farce. We have been working with the DSA on the issues surrounding the new test for some time and we are annoyed that none of our views (or the views of the rest of the motorcycling community) have been taken on board. (Note: 76% of the consultation respondents were against a fee increase and 62% against the Part 2 re-test waiting times)

"The new test process will make gaining a motorcycle licence a long, complicated and expensive business, which in turn will encourage people to shun training, and ride illegally," says Chris. "Couple this with the imminent imposition of a 3rd driving licence directive in 2013 that brings in more complexity to the motorcycle licence process and it will be a miracle if anyone in 2013 will bother at all!"

"The Government has made a dog's breakfast of the whole issue," says Chris Hodder. "We've been lumbered with new centres because Ministers failed to negotiate derogations from the European Directive so that the new tests could be taken at 30mph rather than the 50kmh (32mph) stipulated in the Directive. For the sake of 2 mph, this has meant tests could not be taken on public roads and so new multi-purpose test centres have had to be built at a cost that has now risen to £71 million. This is a total mess. Tax payer's money has been wasted and learner motorcyclists are being asked to pay for it!"

Note: To comply with the European Union's Second Driving Licence Directive, the practical motorcycling test will be split into two modules from April this year. The new test should have been in place from October last, year but due to bad management of the whole project, the requisite numbers of new test centres were not in place.