July 4 2013

A thorough review of motorcycle testing has concluded that an off-road manoeuvre test is safer and cheaper, Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond announced today. Currently, the motorcycle test is conducted in two parts - the first involves demonstrating specific manoeuvres off-road and the second is an on-road test.

The Motorcycle Test Review was commissioned to look at the feasibility of moving the off-road manoeuvres part of the test onto the road and has concluded that this would increase injuries and costs. The Government will therefore not implement a single-event on-road motorcycle test.

Since the review started, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has introduced changes to make the test more accessible - including opening additional test centres and setting up an online booking service for trainers.

Stephen Hammond said: "Motorcyclists are disproportionately represented in casualty statistics - they make up just 1% of road users but 19% of all road accidents - so it is especially important that new riders coming onto the roads have the right training behind them so they can ride safely and confidently.

"The Motorcycle Test Review explored whether the whole of the practical motorcycle test could be carried out on the road without jeopardising rider safety or test standards and without increasing costs. The research clearly shows that such a move would increase incidents and cost more money.

"However the DSA has taken action to make it easier for those wanting to get their motorcycle licence to book a test and find a convenient test centre."

During the Motorcycle Test Review the DfT and the DSA worked closely with a range of stakeholders, including trainers.

Research carried out for the review showed that an on-road manoeuvres test would lead to 17 times the number of serious incidents per year - especially as a result of the higher speed exercises. The research also showed it would increase the duration of the test which would result in higher costs for both candidates and the DSA.

The research findings have been published today on the DfT website: CLICK HERE.