Stan Turner's Newsletter


APRIL 1982

The announcement of the termination of the RAC/ACU Training Scheme must have reached you and it is sad that so much goodwill, good training and road safety should no longer be available to the inexperienced rider. To say that 35 years of effort have come to nothing in the end is just not true. The current attitude and respect for motor cycle rider training and indeed, the training schemes that will remain would not have come about without the pioneering work of the RAC/ACU volunteers.

However, regrettably, we have to face reality and look forward, not backwards, and there are some practical matters to which we must apply our attention.

CLOSURE DATE: You should consider the Scheme to be closed at this time, but we will still meet the commitment to RAC/ACU Trainees currently under instruction. All trainees that are enrolled from now on should be told they are not RAC/ACU Trainees, there will be no RAC/ACU proficiency test and no RAC/ACU proficiency certificate. I hope and expect that you will not cease training but if this should be your decision you should cease to enrol any further riders.

Literature such as enrolment forms, leaflets, etc that bear reference to RAC/ACU should be withdrawn in due course and arrangements made for replacement.

CURRENT COURSES: Arrangements should be made for trainees at present under instruction to complete their course and a panel of examiners will be arranged following an application being received at Headquarters in the usual way.

If you have trainees enrolled for future courses to whom you feel under an obligation these can probably be accommodated but it is intended that only activities such as Proficiency Tests, as may be absolutely necessary, will be undertaken in future.

If you train on a continuous intake basis, we would like RAC/ACU to cease on a convenient date to yourself, i.e. as soon as you have made alternative arrangements.

If you serve in the Counties of Cleveland, Kent, Surrey or West Yorkshire, training will continue as before and you will receive any instructions about the future from the County Road Safety Officer.

INSURANCE: If you take part in the RAC/ACU policies, your insurance cover will continue in respect of RAC/ACU training. You will require to make your own arrangements from the date you commence training as an independent scheme. It could be that you will have RAC/ACU and independent trainees receiving instruction concurrently in which case you will need a separate policy for the independents. RAC/ACU policies will not be renewed after 4th October 1982 by which time all RAC/ACU activity must have ceased.

If you have your own insurance arrangements you should consult your insurers to see if your cover is affected.

C T Bowing may quote for your needs as an independent scheme.

TRAINING MACHINES: This is a difficult problem and no decisions have yet been taken regarding their disposal. Please list the machines owned by the RAC and allocated to your centre(s) on the attached questionnaire. Would you please make sure that the registration documents are readily available. No immediate action is contemplated except where requested. Any decision will relate to the answers to our questionnaire.

HELP: It is the intention of the RAC to give every assistance to those training centres wishing to continue and any information we can provide will be readily available. If you wish to discuss the possibilities we would be willing - so far as circumstances permit - to attend a meeting in your area. It would be advantageous for such meetings to cover a wider area than an individual centre. Groups of centres, say on a County wide basis would be more practical and they must be for constructive purposes. Protest meetings will be pointless.

An information sheet on the procedure to become an authorised body for Part-One Testing is enclosed.

EXAMINERS: It is anticipated that the number of applications for Proficiency Tests received will diminish but your services will be required while we work through the trainees currently under instruction. I do not expect a great reduction in numbers over the next two or three months but beyond that invitations to attend tests should be few.

RoSPA: You will have seen mention in the Press that RoSPA have expressed an interest in motor cycle rider training. We are discussing and cooperating with them in their attempt to provide a service that will enable the voluntary schemes to continue training. We have provided them with the names and addresses of training organisers. We will circulate further information as it becomes available.

BBC SERIES: BBC TV is to broadcast a series of programmes on Motor Cycling called 'Sorry Mate I Didn't See You'. The broadcasting times are as follows:-

BBC 2 Thursdays 18.00 hrs 8th-20th May

repeated on

BBC 1 Saturdays 09.05 hrs 24th April-5th June.

THANKS A MILLION: Further newsletters or other communications will be sent before we finally close down but in any event we would like to express our thanks and appreciation for all the help, co-operation and consideration we have received over the years and even condolences received most recently! We have enjoyed serving you, and wish you every success with your efforts to train even more new riders in the future - but still hope to be able to render some advice and assistance and to provide helpful information for such purposes.

S.P. Turner

Thus closed a legendary chapter in the annals of the Leicester Phoenix Motorcycle Training Scheme. In the six years that the scheme operated under the RAC/ACU system it had evolved into a robust organisation that produced capable and loyal riders, a high proportion of whom returned as instructors. The scheme was a catalyst in starting schemes at Hinckley (Treble Threes) and Kettering (K&DMCC). Instructors built bridges to Star Rider schemes. The scheme ran several Road Safety Rallies that drew competitors from far and wide. Through John Wilmot's efforts we were able to provide an accredited Mitcon for the county schemes.

And now opened a new chapter as a BMF Rider Training Scheme. Confident to train under the new Two Part Test system.

Stan Turner