U.K. bike insurer opposes licensing change


U.K. insurance broker Swinton Bikes claims a new, more centralized testing system for motorcycle licenses is hurting Britain’s powersports industry.

"The new measures could be very harmful to the U.K. motorcycle industry, which plays an important role in the U.K. economy. Bookings have fallen by 50,000 in the eight months following the introduction of the 66 new ‘super test centers’ says Anthony Aronin, head of Swinton Bikes. "Many learner bikers and trainers now have to travel up to two hours to their nearest test center, 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.”

The company and other industry supporters want the government to reopen a broader network of smaller test centers. The company has also called for splitting a "swerve and stop" exercise to be split into two separate maneuvers, following dozens of crashes.

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

Posted by Holly Wagner