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Motorcycles: Driving Tests

Volume 498: debated on Monday 26 October 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what steps he is taking to ensure that adequate numbers of motorcycle practical test centres are available to those living in rural areas in the South West. (294591)

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) plans to offer the off-road practical motorcycling test from five Multi-Purpose Test Centres (MPTCs) in the south west: in Redruth, Taunton, Plymouth, Exeter, and Bristol. MPTCs are already fully operational in three of these areas, at Plymouth, Exeter and Bristol and DSA is in negotiation with private developers and local planning authorities regarding the provision at Taunton and Redruth.

In the meantime temporary Module 1 facilities have been provided at existing Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) test stations in Camborne and Taunton. The operational requirements of VOSA and the need to avoid any conflict between motorcycle candidates and lorries mean that these two facilities are open for Module 1 testing only at weekends.

Damage to the tarmac at the VOSA site in Taunton has resulted in the temporary suspension of Module 1 testing there but we expect that testing will resume in mid-November 2009.

DSA offers the practical on-road part of the motorcycling test from eight driving test centres in addition to the three operational MPTCs. These are at Barnstaple, Bodmin, Camborne, Launceston, Penzance, Taunton, Yeovil and Weston-Super-Mare.