Cost of CBT set to soar with Government changes?

Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 27 Jul 2015

Could CBT changes hike the cost of learning to ride?

An independent rider training school has told Bike Social that the Government’s incoming changes to Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) could see the cost of getting on two wheels increase over the next few years. 

The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) recently confirmed they would roll out changes to CBT from December this year following a consultation period with both training instructors and trainees in regards to how CBT could be improved to ensure new riders are safer on the road.

One of the changes will focus on altering the perception that CBT is a one-day, guaranteed pass course. However, some training schools are worried that moving towards two-day CBT’s could increase the cost of training.

“We completely acknowledge the need to make new riders safer on the roads,” said a representative from an independent Midlands training school who did not want to be named.

“However, we fear that this could further increase the cost for anybody looking to get on two wheels. Moving away from a one day CBT in particular, many of our clients are young and come for their CBT with us because it’s affordable. If we had to run a CBT course over two days, naturally, the price would have to go up.

CBT could be held over two days

“We accept that there are schools out there that will pass someone on CBT whether they are safe or not and that’s not good. We find that a lot of customers can show they are safe enough on the bike, on and off-road, in the one day. If they don’t, we already suggest they come back for further training and don’t give them a certificate.”

Another big change set to be introduced over the next two years is an updated set of standards for CBT and a network for monitoring these. 

“We welcome the introduction of an updated standard for CBT as the current standards are quite out of date and this is perhaps why CBT can have a bad name. If these are brought in line with modern day and kept on top of, this would work well.

“We are really not opposed to increasing the standards or safety of new riders but this needs to be done carefully. Any dramatic increase in price could put off new riders and none of us want that!” 

Not all training schools see the changes this way. Ian Biederman, Chief Instructor at BMW Motorrad’s Rider Training School with over 25 years’ instructing experience, reckons these changes have been a long time coming…

“The incoming changes will make things much safer for new riders. It’s funny; a lot of what has been suggested is already being done by schools at a decent level. What has been lacking is a mechanism to regulate schools and ensure they are all training at the highest level.

“We only offer a one day CBT to riders who already have a CBT, anybody else has to take it over two days. It was never intended to be a one day course but customer demand and training centre supply have made that. If you conduct a CBT for someone who has never ridden before in one day that’s really going some. For many two days is hard work.” 

“There’s so little regulation about what we do training wise. The only regulations for CBT were brought in to play in 1990. It’s very, very out of date for today’s roads. It’s been amended but the monitoring of that is very poor. A lot of work needs to be put in to play but it’s where they find the funding.”

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