Thursday, 13 May 2010

Time to change Britain's clocks

If it was good enough for Winston Churchill then it’s good enough for me.
No, not coalition government (although I hope the new Tory-LibDem alliance works as efficiently as the great man’s wartime cabinet) but that other 1939-45 initiative – double summer time. To make the most of daylight to aid the war effort, the UK was placed on GMT + 2 hours in the summer and GMT + 1 hour in the winter.
As you know currently British Summer Time is GMT + 1 hour and we put the clocks back an hour in the winter.
The need to conserve energy in the battle against global warming should alone be enough to bring about reform. The fact that we would be joining the same time scheme as the majority of our trading partners on the continent should be the clincher.
There was a half-cock, inconclusive tinkering with the clock in the late 1960s and the experiment was abandoned on suspect evidence that winter morning road causalities increased in the north and Scotland.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents says net lives were saved because of the fall in accidents at the other end of the day. It supports the growing demand for what is clumsily called Single/ Double Summertime.
The tourist industry wants reform too. Like me it sees no advantage in the sun rising just after 5am today. But add another hour to summertime and it would have stayed light until after 9.30pm.
Some Scots complain that adding an hour would mean it stayed dark until 10am in the depth of winter. Well, the Norwegians who live a lot further north see the value of being on the same time as France and Germany.
So Mr. Cameron let’s give it a go for a couple of years starting from this autumn by not turning the clocks back and then adding an extra hour next spring.

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