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An end to British Summer Time

Comment 15th March 2013

British Summer Time was introduced in 1916 with the idea of encouraging the population to do an extra hour's work during summer evenings and saving fuel for lighting.  As the country has become more industrialised the amount of work we do has a lot less to do with the availability of daylight. The increasing use of low energy lighting also means there are less savings to be made in that area.  Research does show an increase in fatal road accidents during dark Autumn and Winter afternoons but this could be partly due to the sudden change when the clocks go back in October.  A lot could be done to improve this by better street lighting and education about safe driving.

Why does this matter?

The changes between GMT and BST cause massive disruption to our lives.  Most of us have around a dozen watches and clocks to change (including those on electronic devices) and I always manage to forget at least one of them.  In many public buildings staff can leave it weeks before adjusting clocks.  I know of several occasions when people have turned up late for work because they forgot the changes.  As mentioned above the change from BST to GMT in October could be the cause of many road accidents.

There has been the suggestion that we use BST all year round but I have memories of that happening 1968 – 1971.  Travelling to school in the dark was a miserable experience.


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