Following a review of motorcycle testing which concluded that the current off-road manoeuvre test is ‘safer and cheaper’, the Government has announced that it will not be combining the off and on road elements of the test.
Currently, the motorcycle test is conducted in two parts: the first involves demonstrating specific manoeuvres off-road, and the second is on-road.
The Motorcycle Test Review looked at the feasibility of moving the off-road part of the test onto the road and concluded that this would increase injuries and costs.
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.
Stephen Hammond, road safety minister, 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."
Since the review started, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has introduced changes to make the test more accessible by opening additional test centres and setting up an online booking service for trainers.
The research findings have been published on the DfT website.