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Government must expand motorcyle testing network - Mark Williams MP

2009 Medi 24 12:20 PM

Ceredigion's Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams has this week usedthe Liberal Democrat conference in Bournemouth to launch his submissionto the Transport Select Committee's inquiry into the new motorcycletest.

The new test was introduced in April, but a lack of facilities in ruralWales means that learner riders in Ceredigion have to travel to Bangor,Swansea and Shrewsbury to take the first part of the two module test,raising serious concerns over safety and convenience. The DrivingStandards Agency are currently working with Ceredigion County Council tofind a casual testing site in the County.

Mark Williams raised the issue in a Westminster debate on the eve of thenew test's introduction and met with the then Minister responsible formotorcycle testing. While in Bournemouth for the Liberal Democratconference he met with trainers from the Bournemouth and Poole area, whohave also experienced problems with the lack of facilities.

In his submission to the Select Committee inquiry, Mr Williams calls forthe Driving Standards Agency to initiate searches for casual testingsites in areas where there is a lack of coverage, as well as takingsuggestions from local people, and calls on the Government toacknowledge that the number of Multi-Purpose Test Centres needs to beexpanded in the future.

Commenting, Mark Williams said:

"At the moment learner riders in Ceredigion and other parts of ruralWales face an extremely long and potentially dangerous journey in orderto take part of the test, and there are very real fears that the newtest could harm road safety rather than improve it.

"The Transport Select Committee are looking into this as significantconcerns have been raised, and I hope my submission will highlight howrural Wales has been marginalised by this process.

"The Driving Standards Agency should actively seek potential casualsites in areas lacking coverage rather than relying on localsuggestions. The Department for Transport must acknowledge there are notenough multi-purpose test centres."