[holding answer 9 December 2008]: It has been the policy of successive UK Governments to implement EU directives. EU directive 2000/56/EC set extra and more demanding special exercises that must be included in every practical motorcycling test, including:
at least two manoeuvres executed at slow speed, including a slalom.
at least two manoeuvres executed at higher speed, of which one manoeuvre should be in second or third gear, at a speed of at least 30 kph, and one manoeuvre avoiding an obstacle at a minimum speed of 50 kph.
at least two braking exercises, including an emergency brake at a minimum speed of 50 kph.
These new EU standards necessitated significant changes to the practical motorcycling test undertaken in GB. During public consultation there were overwhelming road safety objections to conducting the higher-speed emergency braking exercise in an environment where there may be pedestrians or other traffic. The case for secure off-road testing areas was conclusive.
The new multi purpose test centres (MPTCs) are based on an updated test centre design that provides modern facilities for local people. MPTCs are attractive buildings which fit comfortably into the local environment. They are fully compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act and also support the Government's wider sustainability agenda.
MPTCs are purpose designed to deliver modern driving test for learner car drivers and motorcyclists and, where possible, they will also be used for the delivery of other types of driving test.