Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 28 November 2015

Clocks go back overnight ... but should they?

Published 26/10/2013

The turning back of the clocks is an annual controversy
The turning back of the clocks is an annual controversy

British Summer Time will officially come to an end in the early hours of Sunday. Clocks will need to be put back 60 minutes at 2am as the UK reverts to Greenwich Mean Time.

Sunrise in London will be at 6:43am and the sun will set at 4:46pm.


The annual turning back of the clocks is a source of annual controversy in the UK, and this year is no exception.


Sir Greg Knight, Conservative MP for East Yorkshire, criticised the "flawed ritual of plunging the UK into darkness by mid-afternoon" and suggested a debate was required on making better use of daylight.


The Tory said any examination should look at the benefits to tourism and road safety of double summertime, which would see the clocks run two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time during the summer.


It's a perspective he shares with Prime Minister David Cameron who suggested in 2010 that he was ready to consider a proposal for double summertime.


Supporters claim a change could add millions to Britain's earnings from tourism but opponents say the darker mornings would make life more difficult for groups including early-rising farmers.


People will need to put their clocks back overnight Saturday to Sunday.


Speaking during business questions, Sir Greg asked Deputy Commons Leader Tom Brake: "Can we have a debate on making better use of natural resources, particularly daylight?


"Are you aware that this weekend we are to undertake the flawed ritual of putting our clocks back one hour, thereby plunging the UK into darkness by mid-afternoon?


"Can we have the opportunity to examine the case for changing to British summertime and double summertime, that is putting our clocks forward an hour?


"It would make the afternoons lighter, it would reduce road accidents and it would boost tourism."


Mr Brake replied: "Clearly I think we are all in favour of making better use of daylight.


"That is an issue I know the Commons has considered on a number of occasions previously.


"I am well aware of the arguments you are putting forward in terms of the benefit that would be derived particularly, for instance, for the tourist industry and also the road safety implications.


"It may be that you may want to consider raising that in Westminster Hall or an adjournment debate."


Should the UK adopt 'double-summertime'? Let us know what you think in the comments...

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