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Motorcycle and Moped Training Centres

Volume 693: debated on Thursday 29 April 2021

What steps he has taken to support motorcycle and moped training centres (a) during and (b) between covid-19 lockdowns. (914902)

The Government have made financial support available through the self-employment income support scheme grant, which is set at 80% of three months’ average trading profits. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has provided trainers with guidance on operating safely and on testing restart dates.

My constituent was not self-employed. She worked supporting vaccine research during the pandemic, but with poor public transport connections and limited income, her only option was using a moped to get to work. Sadly, the Government’s failure to sufficiently extend the validity period of compulsory basic training certification during lockdown until test centres could safely reopen has resulted in her being forced to leave her job. What will the Minister do to support essential workers such as my constituent who have suffered because of the closure of training centres and the lack of extensions to their certificates?

I completely agree that our frontline workers have played a vital role in the response to the pandemic—our thanks go to all of them. The hon. Lady will know that it is important that learners have the right skills to drive, because safety on the road is just as important during a lockdown as at any other time. It is vital that up-to-date road safety knowledge is there at the critical point when people drive and supervise for the first time. She will also know that motorcycle training resumed on 29 March, with testing restarting on 12 April in England and Wales. We got that testing up and running, which was possible because it is easier to maintain a covid-safe working environment for motorcyclists than for in-vehicle training and testing.