November 29 2006.
'A Driving Standards Agency (DSA) proposal to increase the cost of the motorcycle theory test from £21.50 to £28.50 represents a £10 million "stealth tax" on riders,' said Nigel Osborne, chairman of the RMI Motorcycle Rider Training Association (MRTA), part of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF).
'This new fee would deliver a massive 32.5 per cent increase in revenue:  consequently the DSA would do itself no favours with the motorcycling community. We've no complaint with a proposed extension to both motorcycle and car theory test questions - from 35 to 50, and including subjects such as first-aid and eco-driving - but the industry strongly objects to an already profitable agency benefiting further from a raid on riders' pockets. We will be vigorously opposing this proposed change in our consultation response.'
Osborne added: 'It is not helpful for the industry if motorcyclists feel they are being unfairly victimised by a hugely disproportionate increase. After all, the Government is supposed to be encouraging people to use more environmentally-friendly forms of transport - raising the costs for then doing so is hardly a step forward!'
The theory test fee proposal has been put forward in a consultation document by the DSA, which is conducting a wholesale review of the driving and riding tests and associated fees.