The Motorcycle Action Group is co-ordinating a campaign to retain the Isle of Wight motorcycle test centre.
Motorcyclists on the Isle of Wight will face a long and expensive journey to the mainland in order to take their motorcycle licence test under plans to abolish the islands only motorcycle test centre.
This has come about due to the new motorcycle riding test which comes into force in October 2008 which will require purpose built off road test centres.
A total of 65 new, off road purpose built test centres are being built to accommodate the new test which includes manoeuvres at speeds up to 50 kilometres per hour.
These purpose built centres require a tarmac area of 2.5 acres and cost in the region of ?1.5m per centre. The new motorcycle test will result in better trained riders which will have a positive benefit for the safety of the individual motorcyclist and overall road casualty reduction.
The Driving Standards Agency says that the number of riders taking the test in the Isle of Wight, together with the cost of developing a centre on the island would not be financially viable.
Motorcyclists, motorcycle dealers and trainers on the island are very worried that the loss of a test centre would suppress demand for motorcycling which in turn would add to traffic congestion and environmental damage as would be motorcyclists turn instead to cars.
Allan Thornton the Isle of Wight MAG representative says, ?There are a number of sites which could be developed and the islands motorcycle community is prepared to work with anyone who can help retain our testing centre on the island. Having to go to the mainland, enduring an expensive 1 hour journey, plus check in times together with having to pay for your trainer to go would have a negative impact on motorcycling on the island. I am worried that people might ride without taking their test with all the consequences that might bring?.
The campaign is being co-ordinated by MAG’s Campaigns Manager David Short who says, “The loss of a motorcycle test centre on the Isle of Wight is in itself an issue but it also highlights a national problem where the reduction from the current 225 sites to a proposed 65 super test centres will mean riders in remote parts of the country will have to undergo long journeys at great expense just to take the test.”
“I am encouraged that talks with ministers, the DSA, motorcycle trainers and the Motorcycle Rider Training Association, (MRTA) have proved very positive and an agreement has been reached that all parties will meet to discuss the way forward and to consider the possibility of the Isle of Wight retaining a motorcycle test facility.”
Visit the MAG campaigns web site for progress on the campaign and how you can get involved.
Mike Owen the head of the MRTA said, “I am delighted that this issue is being addressed. The MRTA will do everything possible to help resolve the question of the Isle of Wight test centre and the wider national problem it represents”.
Campaign details are Here
For further information contact: David Short
Tel: +44 (0) 1347 822214
Mobile: +44 (0) 7738 948080
General Secretary (MAG UK)
Tel: +44 (0)1788 570065
Fax: +44 (0)1788 570052
The UK’s Leading Riders’ Rights Organisation