BMF works with the DfT to review CBT: What can we expect?


Published on 8 September 2015 by Gill

The BMF is working hard to make the Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) scheme more robust, relevant and realistic for young riders. Government Relations Executive Graeme Hay discusses the latest review and what could be in the pipeline of change:

'In the spring edition of Rider I mentioned that the DfT had commissioned an extensive survey of training providers and students late in 2014 with a clear objective to carry out a thorough review of the Compulsory Basic Training scheme.

The BMF joined with training providers, road safety experts and members of the DVSA and DfT teams during the early part of 2015 to work together to find the best way to improve what we have. There are numerous key points which I will describe here but, before I begin, let me put minds at rest about a couple of areas of popular speculation. The 24-month duration of the CBT pass remains, and this is a review of CBT and not the entire third Driving Licence Directive.

The research showed that the training being offered as a part of CBT is all too often a ‘one size fits all’ experience, when this cannot possibly be correct. Training must meet the needs of individual riders and the now almost universal system of cramming it all into one day, delivered at the lowest cost, is an obstacle to delivering good training. The literature and all of the other supporting material needs to be overhauled to bring it up to date; the online update service is to be modernised and make the many key messages easier for new riders to understand. There will be a recording system in place for the pass documentation to identify a pass on an automatic machine, with advice to candidates to seek further training before riding a bike with a manual gearbox on the road.

In a very big step forward the DVSA is going to go back into the inspection business, to make sure that training providers are knowledgeable in core skills and delivering the best training. Following this there will be acknowledgement of the better providers which will help prospective candidates choose the best training provider for themselves.

Throughout the summer the BMF will work with the DVSA team, training bodies and road safety teams on behalf of the riders of the future in this review of the content of the training material and other aspects of the review.

The BMF is a part of this new government watchdog, which maintains the role of the former ‘Passenger Focus’ group monitoring and reporting on rail and bus travel but has been expanded to include motorways and trunk roads. Indeed when I asked for volunteers to work with us in future in-depth research on motorcyclists, many members volunteered and I look forward to passing on research requests from Transport Focus to each of you.

In order to get the ball rolling, the Transport Focus team has done some early research. A sample of 5,000 road users, including motorcyclists, was asked to list their key concerns, in order of priority. This will form the starting point for Transport Focus groups’ work with Highways England and I thought that you might be interested in what the sample of motorcyclists were concerned about?

The drivers of cars and vans listed the top three concerns as “improved quality of road surface” followed by “safer design and upkeep of roads” and then “better behaved drivers”.

Riders agreed with the first priority of “improved quality of road surface” but interestingly considered “better behaved drivers” in second place, with “safer design and upkeep of roads” third. It is not possible to present all of the data in this short item, but please look at the BMF website under News to see a PDF file of this benchmark survey.'

The report was published on the July 14 and you can view it in full here.