This is a theme that I have blogged on before – there is a strong argument for the alignment of the UK with Europe on time, we currently lie an hour behind our neighbours. A move away from our current system and moving UK clocks forward an extra hour would mean darker summer mornings but lighter evenings.
Well this week a “tourism strategy” is to be presented to Parliament that will include a plan to move the clocks in line with most of Europe, tourism chiefs and safety campaigners support the move, but there are fears in Scotland about road accidents.
Ministers want to be satisfied the country backs the plan before giving the go-ahead, and last year, Prime Minister David Cameron indicated he was willing to consider a switch, and said;
“The argument will be won when people across the country feel comfortable with the change, it’s up to those who want to make the change to make the argument to try to convince people right across the country that it’s a good thing. People who like taking part in sporting activity and would like longer days are already quite easy to sway. That’s the key to winning this argument.”
The proposals will be published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in the coming week. A parliamentary bill requiring the government to conduct analysis of the costs and benefits of shifting the clocks forward received MPs’ initial approval in December. Bringing the clocks forward by one hour would bring the UK into line with Central European Time (CET), which is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) plus one hour. It would mean, for instance, that instead of the sun rising in Newcastle-upon-Tyne at 0714 and setting at 1723, as it does at this time of year, it would rise at 0814 and set at 1823.
Tourism bosses say the number of overseas visitors would increase if summer evenings were lighter and they estimate the benefits to the economy could total billions of pounds.
A three-year experiment to keep BST all year took place between 1968 and 1971, but was not made permanent.
There are also green issues here – lighter evenings would suggest less power use at a time when most houses are most occupied. The ability to do more in the evenings outside is also seen as a way of helping get the country healthier.
Could 27th March this year be the last one hour forward? To me its a ‘no brainer’ lets hope parliament see it the same way!