British Summer Time - Debates On Reform

Debates On Reform

Campaigners, including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and environmental campaigners 10:10, have made recommendations that British Summer Time be maintained during the winter months, and that a "double summertime" be applied to the current British Summer Time period, putting the UK one hour ahead of GMT during winter, and two hours ahead during summer. This proposal is referred to as "Single/Double Summer Time" (SDST), and would effectively mean the UK adopting the same time zone as central European countries such as France, Germany, and Spain (Central European Time and Central European Summer Time).

RoSPA suggests this would reduce the number of accidents over this period as a result of the lighter evenings. RoSPA have called for the 1968–71 trial to be repeated with modern evaluation methods.

While 10:10 generally agree with the safety benefits, their Lighter Later campaign focuses on the potential energy benefits of Single/Double Summer Time, arguing that the change could "save almost 500,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, equivalent to taking 185,000 cars off the road permanently".

These proposals are opposed by some farmers and other outdoor workers, and many residents of Scotland and Northern Ireland, as it would mean that, in northern Britain and Northern Ireland, the winter sunrise would not occur until 10:00 or even later. However in March 2010 the National Farmers Union indicated that it was not against Single/Double Summer Time and is in fact relatively neutral, with many farmers expressing a preference for the change.

The journalist Peter Hitchens, among others, proposes the abolition of BST entirely, favouring GMT all year round. Advocates cite in their support a lack of practical gains from the adjustment of time, arguing instead that changes in school and/or business hours would achieve similar results without disrupting a scientific standard.

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