Plans to trial a new, single, on-road motorcycle test have been published by Mike Penning, road safety minister.
The motorcycle test is currently carried out in two parts, one on-road and one off-road, but the DfT has been undertaking a review of the test since June 2010 in partnership with motorcycle groups, training organisations and other stakeholders.
The report suggests a new hazard avoidance manoeuvre which – subject to further trialling – could be carried out on the road. Proposals that slow manoeuvres such as slalom, figure of eight, and U turn could be examined at training centres by delegated examiners ahead of the main test, will also be given further consideration.
Mike Penning said: “I want to make sure that we have a test which prepares bikers properly for the road so the motorcycle test review is a top priority for me.
"My goal has always been a single, on-road test which is rigorous and reflects real-life conditions. By working with the motorcycle training industry and others we have identified a set of changes which have the potential to deliver this.
"It is also my aim that these changes will open up the test to those living in areas which are poorly served by the current network of-off road test centres.
"I am grateful to all those who have given their time and expertise to the review and the focus will now be on starting trials of these proposals."
Wider trials with test-level candidates will be held in 2011, followed by public consultation on the proposed changes.
The DfT hopes, subject to further work on safety, cost and value for money, that there would be a phased introduction of on-road testing moving to general adoption of the new test by the end of 2011 or early 2012.
Click here to read the full DfT report.