Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Gibson Highlights concerns over Test Centre Closures

News Release
Immediate release

Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling for a rethink on the closure of a motor cycle test centre in Elgin.

The motion states that the plan to close 51 test centres across Scotland (including the one in Elgin) will cause increased pressures on those planning to sit their tests.

He said:

"If the proposed closures go ahead then test sitters throughout Scotland will be faced with increases in journey times, costs and complications."

"This will really hit motor cyclists in Elgin. If Elgin closes then test sitters will face a 4 hour round trip (including a one hour test), as well as an estimated extra cost of £250 (when motor cycle hire, the fact the instructor is with you, as well as petrol and refreshments are added). This will increase the risk of fatigue and cause an unnecessary drain of finances there surely must be a rethink."

"There are also concerns over the length of waiting lists at some test centers at the moment. If there are going to be only 12 left as opposed to the current 63 then it is fair to assume that the waiting times will increase. In an era of high fuel costs, motor bikes are going to become a more attractive option. It seems a strange time for shutting down the vast majority of centers in Scotland."

Mr Gibson will also write to the UK Transport Minister to raise the issue.



Copy of Motion
Date of Lodging: 7 April 2008
Short Title: DSA Motorcycle Centres
S3M-01678 Rob Gibson (Highlands and Islands) (SNP): That the Parliament notes with concern the decision by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) to close 51 motorcycle test centres in Scotland; considers that these closures will result in increased travel time, expense and complications to those wishing to pass their motorcycle tests; notes that the closure of the Moray motorcycle test centre in Elgin results in test-sitters enduring a four-hour round trip to their nearest test centre coupled with a one-hour test, as well as increased costs estimated at over £250; considers that the dangers of fatigue are greatly enhanced and calls on the DSA to reconsider closing test centres, such as Elgin’s, which would result in people’s safety being put in danger, and finally considers that the DSA should be promoting motorcycling as a greener mode of transport and should make it easier to take the test, not more difficult.

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