April 25, 2010 19:00 ET

Swinton Bikes Backs Call to Reinstate Old-Style Test Centres

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM --(Marketwire - April 25, 2010) - Swinton Bikes, one of the UK's leading motorcycle insurance brokers, is backing industry calls to re-open smaller old-style test centres following a recent report by the House of Commons Transport Committee into the new motorcycling test centres.

Following a change in European legislation, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has implemented a new test for learner bikers, which have come under fire from MPs, industry professionals and bikers alike.

The recently submitted Early Day Motion has seen 116 MPs putting their signatures to proposals to scrap the controversial new riding test and re-open smaller, convenient test centres.

Swinton Bikes has echoed the call to re-instate former test centres and issued a warning to the motorcycle industry.

Anthony Aronin, Head of Swinton Bikes, one of the UK's leading motorbike insurance brokers, said: "The new measures could be very harmful to the UK motorcycle industry which plays an important role in the UK economy. Bookings have fallen by 50,000 in the eight months following the introduction of the 66 new "super test centres".

"Many learner bikers and trainers now have to travel up to two hours to their nearest test centre, riding on fast and dangerous roads before they have even taken their test. The added cost and inconvenience could potentially put many more people off learning to ride bikes or lead to more unlicensed and uninsured riders taking to the road.

Swinton Bikes has also called for the controversial "swerve and stop" exercise to be split into two separate manoeuvres following dozens of crashes.

Anthony Aronin added: "While a more difficult test could ultimately improve road safety and help to lower motorbike insurance claims, this manoeuvre has led to so many accidents that it needs to be revised.

"While motorbikes represent only 1% of vehicle usage on our roads, 21% of people killed or seriously injured on our roads are riders. Although the latest figures show that motorcycle casualties have decreased in the last year, bikers still represent a too high proportion of road deaths and injuries."

About Swinton

  • With 580 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer

  • Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community

  • Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance

  • With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates

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