September 11 2008.

'Deferring the introduction of the new motorcycle test until 2009 was a tough choice, but also the only logical one for Government to make, and the RMI Motorcycle Rider Training Association (MRTA) applauds the decision,' according to Kevin Bryan, MRTA Chairman.

Bryan was commenting today (Thursday 11 September 2008) following the announcement by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) of a six month deferral of the new motorcycle test.

The new test was due to be introduced on 29 September 2008 as a result of new requirements included in the Second EC Driving Licence Directive (Directive 2000/56/EC). 66 new Multi Purpose Test Centres (MPTCs) were supposed to be established around the country prior to that date to enable the new 'off-road' portion of the test to be taken before the usual 'on-road' test. However, only 38 Multi Purpose Test Centres (MPTCs) would have been operational by the implementation date.

'Major gaps in the network of motorcycle test centres required for the new motorcycle test and further test booking delays meant that implementation of the new test had to be delayed,' said Bryan.

'Because it became increasing difficult to book tests, training businesses have already suffered, but the DSA's decision mitigates further damage at this time. It will also ensure business levels are maintained throughout the Autumn and into Spring 2009.

'By enabling the rider training industry to continue functioning in this way, the safety of new riders will also be maintained.'

The MRTA worked closely with other industry stakeholders on the issue, including the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI), so that the interests of the wider sector were properly addressed.

'Special thanks should go to all those who supported the campaign,' said Bryan.

The MRTA's campaign will not end though. The MRTA will be assisting and advising the DSA on a range of operational aspects, including reverting riders booked on the new test back to the old, releasing new test appointments in a managed way, and generally working to ensure smooth delivery with minimum disruption to our members

The MRTA will be supporting DSA as far as possible to ensure a proper network of MPTCs is in place in six months time including appropriate and realistic arrangements where the planned MPTC will not be operational in time.

Commenting on the decision, Martin Marshall, Chairman of the RMI Motorcycle Retailers Association (MRA) said: 'As a sister body to MRTA, the MRA has supported this campaign 100 per cent, as what affects rider trainers also affects motorcycle retailers. This is a fantastic example of the whole motorcycle community coming together to work for the common good, and maximising the strengths of their respective memberships.'