If we can’t stop putting the clocks back – how about 2 UK time zones?

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The issue of British Summer Time is up for discussion again in Parliament. It’s been debated repeatedly over the years and changes have even been tried twice, albeit temporarily.

The clocks were moved forward by an hour during World War II, to maximise productivity at munitions factories and ensure people got home safely before the blackout.

It was again tried between 1968 and 1971. But after complaints in Scotland and northern England, MPs voted to end the experiment.

Distinguished advocates over the years have included Winston Churchill and today’s supporters are many and varied, from the Football Association to Greenpeace.

But what are the logistical implications of changing the clocks from the current format?

For years the case in favour of changing the clocks has struggled because of Scotland. If it was introduced some of the northern-most areas of the UK would not see daylight until 10am during the winter months. Opponents argue this would increase accidents and make farmers’ lives harder. A fair argument but is there a solution – possibly dual time zones?

So could Scotland have a different time zone? It’s been suggested several times over the years, but never been taken seriously. The list of objections include the havoc it would cause to travel timetables and the UK-wide TV schedule. And what if you worked in one nation and lived in the other?

But in the US some states operate on different times and Russia has various time zones. People learn to factor in the difference and eventually it becomes automatic. Travel timetables are always shown in local time and when meetings are arranged – for work or pleasure – people add “your time” or “my time” to clarify. We also have no issue traveling to European countries with differing time – so why should Scotland be any different?

So is it time for the UK to trial this? I still believe it is crazy that we don’t at least try falling in line with the rest of Europe on time matters.

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