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03-03-2009 Riders call for end to new rider rip-off

The introduction of a new motorcycle riding test must be halted until new riders get a better deal says the Motorcycle Action Group.

From 27th April 2009, new riders must travel to specially constructed test-sites for a short test of their ability to corner, brake and swerve before taking the traditional practical test on the road.

D
espite early promises of no rise in the test fee and enough test-sites to ensure riders would not normally have to travel long distances, the cost of the test has already risen substantially in order to fund the new test sites and there will be fewer than 50 such sites available across Britain compared to more than 200 currently offering the traditional riding test. 

"It is difficult to see how road safety can be served by slashing the number of test centres offering a bike test and effectively doubling the cost of being trained and tested to what is little more than the current standard" said MAG General Secretary, Nich Brown.

T
he government originally tried to introduce the new test in September 2008, but had to postpone because there were too few sites (total = 39). Since then hardly any more sites have been built (total now projected to be just 45).

According to latest information from the Driving Standards Agency, the government body responsible for the new test, large areas of the country will have no provision for the new test or will be served by part-time lorry testing sites operating on weekends only.

The North of England is one area that will suffer as a result of what riders and training schools are increasingly referring to as ‘a fiasco’ that will put the future of rider training in jeopardy.  The Leeds MAG group is hosting a national demonstration on Saturday 9 May 2009.  Under the slogan 'Too Far To Go' new riders will be supported by those with years of experience in their demands for a fairer deal.

"Whether we're riding to celebrate a victory for common-sense, or to condemn the introduction of an expensive scheme that will hit vulnerable new riders, we want to demonstrate our support for the next generation of riders" said MAG Regional Representative, Sheila McMahon.

The meeting point for the run is Squires Bikers Café, Sherburn in Elmet, LS25 5LX at 11.30am 9 May 2009.

The police escorted run will take in Leeds city centre before returning to Squires for speeches, and a buffet.

Free camping is being provided and the option of a breakfast.

In the meantime MAG has submitted a petition to the No 10 website worded as follows:

‘We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to suspend introduction of the new testing arrangements for motorcyclists until such time as adequate test facilities exist.’

We shall inform you as soon as the petition is live.

Further information:

Sheila McMahon
E-mail: yorkshireregionalrep@hotmail.co.uk
T
el: 08707743549

Nich Brown
E-mail: nich.brown@mag-uk.org
Tel: 01788 570066 

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