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New motorbike test 'waste of money'

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Millions of pounds have been wasted on new multi-purpose motorcycling test centres introduced by the Government in place of local sites, according to a report by MPs.

The House of Commons Transport Committee said the new test centres have so far only served to inconvenience candidates and trainers while adding to their expenses.

Retaining smaller and more convenient sites may have helped save millions of pounds, the report concluded.

Louise Ellman MP, the committee's chairman, stated: "Many candidates and trainers now have to travel too far for their motorcycle test. This adds to the cost, and in some cases, exposes candidates to fast and dangerous roads on the way to a test site - before they have even taken their test.

The MPs criticised the Driving Standards Agency's (DSA) "slow and dogmatic" approach to testing and its failure to get all 66 planned centres running despite introduction of the tests 11 months ago.

New tests for motorcycling were brought in following EU legislation, but the committee pointed out that no other European country had decided to build "super test centres" in response.

Ms Ellman added: "If the new test brings financial ruin to the motorcycle training industry then we will have gone backwards."

© Press Association 2010