Transport Committee: Press Notice

Session 2008-09, 27 July 2009

New Inquiry and Call for Evidence

New European motorcycle test

In January 2009 the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) announced that the motorcycle test would be split into two parts: Module 1 contains the specified manoeuvres element of the test including exercises designed to assess the rider's ability to control their machine safely, including avoidance and emergency stop exercises; and Module 2 includes an eyesight test and at least 30 minutes of on-road riding, assessing the rider's ability to safely interact with other road users. This took effect in April 2009. The decision to split the test in two is the result of changes to the practical driving test for motorcyclists introduced this year as a consequence of the European Second Driving Licence Directive - though the decision to deliver the new test in two parts and via multi-purpose test centres was taken by the Government, following two rounds of consultation.

Concerns have been expressed that there are too few test centres and that some test candidates are now required to travel long distances to reach their nearest test centre. Concerns have also been raised about the safety of riders taking the off-road test, particularly the 'swerve and stop' test.

The Transport Committee will hold an inquiry into current motorcycle testing arrangements. In particular:

  1. Has the DSA interpreted the EU Second Driving Licence Directive correctly and applied it appropriately?
  2. Are the off-road motorcycle tests safe and appropriate?
  3. Is the number of motorcycle test centres adequate and are the locations satisfactory?
  4. What is the impact of the recent changes in motorcyclist testing?

Interested parties are invited to submit evidence by Tuesday 22 September 2009.

Guidance on submitting written evidence

It assists the Committee if those submitting written evidence adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Submissions should be as short as is consistent with conveying the relevant information. As a rough guide, it is usually helpful if they can be confined to six pages or less. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference. A single-page summary of the main points is sometimes helpful. The submission should be in a form suitable for monochrome photocopying.
  2. Evidence should be submitted in Word or Rich Text format, by e-mail to The body of the e-mail should include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. It should be absolutely clear who the submission is from, particularly whether it is on behalf of an organisation or in the name of an individual.
  3. Once accepted by the Committee, written evidence becomes the Committee's property and it may decide to publish it or make other public use of it. You should not publish evidence submitted to the Committee. If you wish your submission, or any part of it, to be treated as confidential, then please indicate this clearly when you submit it.
  4. Though the Committee is happy to receive copies of published material, formal submissions of evidence should be original work and not published elsewhere.
  5. Committee staff are happy to give further advice on any aspect of the Committee's work by phone or e-mail.

More detailed guidance on giving evidence to a select committee is available on-line at: