One of the less-publicised bits of news in the current stream of bad news about driving licences, anti-tampering laws and compulsory hi-vis clothing comes from a DSA press release, dated October 13 2011:
“Learner riders in the Shetlands will now be able to take both parts of the motorcycle test without leaving the islands.
Since the introduction of the two part motorcycle test in 2009, candidates had to travel to the mainland to take the off-road, module one part of the test. But from this week the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) will be conducting module one tests at Anderson High School in Lerwick.
Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said:
“Our aim is to provide a local service that is both convenient for candidates and cost effective.
“We want to offer people the best service possible wherever they live so I am delighted that riders in the Shetlands will soon be able to take their whole motorbike test without needing to travel to the mainland.”
The move is part of an initiative to make module one tests available more locally by using non-DSA sites on a part-time, casual-hire basis.
At present the majority of module one tests are conducted from purpose-built off-road test centres. However, in rural or remote areas where candidates have to travel a long distance to take the module one test, DSA is working with motorcycle trainers to identify suitable local sites where tests can be delivered, such as car parks and motorcycle trainers’ sites.
The first module one tests at Anderson High School are taking place this week, and tests will subsequently be provided on an ad hoc basis depending on local demand.”
Whilst there probably aren’t that many motorcyclists taking a test in Shetland every year, it does make me wonder how it took the DSA so long to identify a need for a local site, given that they actually conduct Module Two there already.
I mean, travelling fifty miles for us mainland dwellers isn’t ideal, but at least the average L plater doesn’t need to take a twelve hour journey each way on a ferry to do a ten minute round the cones gymkhana!