The DVSA has confirmed that motorcycle training and testing is due to start ramping back up from 4th July as Government lockdown rules are eased.
Driving and riding tests started to be postponed from mid-March, before the official COVID-19 lockdown was introduced. Since then, only key workers have been able to book and test riding tests, including CBTs.
Advanced training got underway again this month, but learner riders have been left waiting until now to discover when they’d be able to resume their lessons.
The restart is to be phased, with training and theory tests coming back before practical riding tests. From Saturday 4th July, CBTs, direct access training and theory tests will be back on. That means new L-plate riders will start to be able to get on the road from that date forward.
For those who were already preparing for their riding tests when the lockdown started, there’s a slightly longer wait. Practical tests for Module 1 and Module 2 are to get underway again from Monday 13th July.
At the moment, the DVSA still hasn’t announced details on how testing and training will be adapted to maintain the ‘one-metre-plus’ distancing rules that come into force on 4th July, but promises to make further announcements in the coming days to clarify how the services can be restarted safely.
We’re also still waiting to hear how tests will be booked. Tests that were already booked before the pandemic struck were cancelled, with candidates refunded, and no new bookings were taken during lockdown so it seems unlikely there will be priority for people who previously had tests scheduled. It’s also yet to be established whether key workers will be given priority when it comes to CBTs and testing.
Bike training and testing will be easier to adapt to social distancing rules than car driving lessons and tests. While car driving lessons will also restart on 4th July, the DVSA says car tests won’t be able to begin again until Wednesday 22nd July, nine days after motorcycle tests resume.
For motorcycle trainers, the DVSA’s enhanced rider scheme trainer theory test will also get underway again on 4th July.
Ian Biederman, BMW Rider Training Chief Instructor, said: “We are extremely pleased to hear that we can restart testing for those new to motorcycling and training for all abilities. Now, more than ever, motorcycling makes so much sense – it is an ideal mode of transport that enables effective social distancing while helping to minimise use of public transport. At BMW Rider Training, we’ve designed a dedicated course for those returning to the road after the coronavirus-enforced riding break and we’ve also seen a very strong level of interest from newcomers who are now keen to learn to ride.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Driving lessons and tests are vital in helping people get to work and visit loved ones, and provide the skills for a lifetime of safe driving.
“As the country recovers from COVID-19 we can now open-up our services to help get the country moving again and I am very pleased to announce the restart of driving tests and lessons in a COVID-secure way.”
Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA Chief Executive, added: “It has been vital that lessons and tests only resume when safe to do so and in line with the government’s advice.
“We know this has been a tough time for the whole country including learners and driving instructors but I am pleased to announce the restart of lessons and tests in England.
“Tests for critical workers have continued during the lockdown and I would like to thank all those instructors and examiners who have continued to work to help deliver tests for those who have done so much to help us during this terrible pandemic.”