U.K. testing a problem


Photo: 1066motorcycletraining.co.uk

A new "super" test procedure for obtaining motorcycle licences in Britain has been a failure, according to a Conservative MP there, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown has promised a review of the process.

The number of trainee riders taking the new test has dropped by 62 per cent since the system was introduced in 2009, and the pass rate has dropped by 58 per cent. Conservative MP Anne Main asked PM Gordon Brown this week what the government would do about it.

Brown said he would ask the Transport Minister to look into it. "It is important that we have a strong motorcycling industry in this country and it is important that the questions she (MP Main) has about the specifics of these tests be answered," he said, according to a story in carolenash.com.

The new test is conducted in "super" test centres, but there don’t appear to have been enough of these centres built; some people will travel for two hours or more to get to one. In the past, there were 260 ordinary test centres located around the U.K. Now there 66 of the new centres.

Some complaints have been made about the test, too. A swerve manoeuvre that is performed at 50 km/h has alarmed quite a few people.


  1. It is less likely the test and more likely the administration. Ontario went the same way with a test known as the MOST II. Huge failure rate, limited access, high examiner training requirements. We then went back to the simple system. Come back alive and uninjured and get your M2. Write a quiz and get your M1. Also understand that training centres give testing in Ontario and test to the MOST II standard. Britian and others may benefit from our example.

  2. I agree, “a swerve manoeuvre that is performed at 50 km/h” is terribly alarming. It should be performed at 120 km/h, the actual speed these students will need to be traveling to keep up with traffic when some road debris or other hazard will spontaneously present itself. What value is an exam that doesn’t test your preparedness for real life?

  3. Hmmmm- increased skills testing, more failures, and the government wants to “fix” that.

    The issue of not enough super testing centres seems valid, but tougher testing should mean better riders – what’s wrong with that?

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