Isle of Wight MP, Andrew Turner, this week reiterated his concerns to the Minister for Transport, at plans to move the Isle of Wight Motorcycle Test Centre (MTC) to the mainland.
Having previously questioned the removal of the Isle of Wight MTC in Oct 2007, with Island MP Speaks Out On New EU Motorcycle Tests and further coverage when the Motorcycle Action Group. started its Campaign To Save The Isle of Wight Motorcycle Testing Centre.
On Tuesday, Mr Turner, once again quizzed Jim Fitzpatrick, Minister for Transport, asking how long it would take for motorcyclists to travel from the Isle of Wight to the places where they can be tested and might they not, as an alternative, drive indefinitely on L-plates.
Said Mr Turner:
The EU has imposed a new motorcycle test on member states which comes into effect at the end of September. Part of the test requires that a motorcyclist carries out an emergency stop and takes action to avoid a collision at 50 km/h – that is above the urban speed limit in the UK.
Instead of applying a bit of logic and recognising that the Island has many rural roads where the manoeuvres could be safely and legally tested the Government has decided that everyone must travel to the mainland where they can carry out the test in a purpose built testing centre.
To be fair the EU doesn’t insist that the test must be carried out in a testing centre, it is the Government who have made that decision. This is a prime example of the ‘gold plating’ of EU regulations to the detriment of the public and the decision flies in the face of common sense.
He went on to say:
Tests in the future will have to be taken in Fareham or Poole which the Department of Transport has estimated as a two hour each way journey and of course an expensive ferry trip will be involved.
There are very serious implications for learners who cannot afford to go to the mainland to take their test or those who feel there is little advantage in doing so.
If it is more difficult and more expensive to take a test many riders may simply fail to undertake the necessary training and ride on their provisional licences. Since motorcycle accidents are responsible for many road deaths, there is a serious safety issue here.
Mr. Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight) (Con): How much time will it take for motorcyclists to travel from the Isle of Wight to places where they are tested, and might they not, as an alternative, drive indefinitely on L-plates?
Jim Fitzpatrick: The multi-purpose test centres have been designed, first, to comply with the European directive on testing motorcyclists and, secondly, to comply with our safety ambition to cut the numbers of motorcyclists who die on our roads.
In 2006, there were 599 such deaths; in 2007, there were 588. They are the biggest single category of deaths on the road, and many motorcyclists are victims of other road users.
We are trying to make sure that the MPTCs are as close as possible to where people live, and targets have been set. I know that the hon. Gentleman is aware of that, and he knows, too, that we are engaged in that examination.
Island MP Speaks Out On New EU Motorcycle Tests
Campaign To Save The Isle of Wight Motorcycle Testing Centre.
Public Consultation on Driving Tests Click HERE:
Isle of Wight Road Safety DSA Driving Up Theory Test Click HERE:
Andrew Turner’s office 01983 530808
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