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Putting the clocks forward
20/01/2012 20:17:00

I normally spend Fridays in Croydon but today I was in Parliament to support the Daylight Saving Bill, a Private Member's Bill that was introduced by my colleague Rebecca Harris.

The Bill would require the Government to conduct a study of the pros and cons of moving the clocks forward by an hour, resulting in lighter evenings every day of the year. You obviously can't change how long it is light for on any given day but we can change when in the day it is light - as things stand, for much of the year most of us are asleep for some of the time when it's light and if we shifted our clocks forward an hour it would be light for more of the time we are awake. There is evidence that this would:

- reduce road traffic accidents (it would be light during the evening rush hour for more of the year);

- reduce the need for lighting, saving us all money and helping the environment;

- boost the tourism industry;

- reduce fear of crime;

- make people healthier by making it easier for them to exercise in the evenings; and

-make people happier by reducing the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Sadly, a small minority of MPs talked the Bill out (prevented there from being a vote on it). It was clear that a majority of MPs support the measure so we now need to convince Ministers to allocate some Government time to it.

Comment on this blog

 

Readers' Comments

On 02/02/2012 17:02:00 Liz Fanning wrote:
I totally agree.
 
On 02/02/2012 17:15:00 Margaret wrote:
I disagree with a study as they cost a huge amount of money that the economy has not got. Everyone should know how much better they feel in daylight, also turning the clocks back is a waste of time as it only gives around three to four weeks extra daylight in the morning, then it is back to getting up in the dark again.
 
On 02/02/2012 18:00:00 Graham wrote:
Surely all those things you talk about are just the result of inflexible timing. Why does everyone work '9 to 5'? Why not '8 to 4' as well and spread the rush hours and start the 'evening' earlier. Evening entertainment doesn't have to start at e.g. 8pm, it can start at 7pm too. We don't need to change the clock to change which bit of the day we use, we need to use more of the day.
 
On 02/02/2012 18:00:00 Janet McLean wrote:
Keep going. It will be much better to stay on same time all the time.
 
On 02/02/2012 18:30:00 Alan Reynolds wrote:
I agree with your support for this change. When I was a Civil Servant working with my counterparts in the rest of the EU, it was annoying that the time difference meant there was only a small window in the morning and again in the afternoon when we were both in the office. This hampered co-operation which I believe is needed to build understanding and a stronger Europe.
 
On 02/02/2012 20:16:00 Grahame Dovey wrote:
Gavin

I'm afraid I disagree with the idea of moving the clocks forward an hour. If it was unpopular during the experiment of 1968 - 1971 then why is it likely to be popular now? You would merely be transferring an hour of daylight from one end of the day to the other and make our winter mornings even more gloomy.

It is not darkness that causes people not to exercise it's the cold and rain and also other factors like pressure of work and lack of motivation. Road traffic accidents are decreasing anyway and it's possible that the darker mornings would see an increase in road traffic accidents.

S.A.D. is mainly caused by the lack of sun during the day so changing the clocks won't make much difference.

I could be sold on an extra hour of evening daylight just in the summertime as the light early mornings are a waste. So for me GMT in the winter, GMT + 2 in the summer.

Regards

Grahame

 
On 02/02/2012 20:47:00 wendy mortimer wrote:
i agree that the time changing should be the same as other European countries. I agree that there would be less accidents. This clock thing only worked well during the war years as it stopped that old fart Hitler and his so called army locating our factories. Like Hitler, it is a thing of the past.
 
On 02/02/2012 20:54:00 Adam wrote:
I have always been puzzled as to why some people are against this idea. The two reasons I have heard are:

1. inconvenience to farmers; and

2. parents being around for schoolchildren.

I don't see it matters much to a farmer what their watch says when going about their business!

School hours could be adjusted if necessary to balance light and parental supervision.

It would be great to lose the hassle of resetting timers and clocks twice a year!

 
On 02/02/2012 22:26:00 Irene Harris wrote:
Sorry, I totally disagree with you. I used to go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. Same when I went to school. If people in the city want to line up times with Europe, why not just go in an hour earlier? Same with schools, why not start later?

GMT is part of our heritage, why lose that? Many years ago Daylight Saving was introduced to help the farmers. What a load of tosh. The milking and feeding still had to be done at the same 'astronomical' time. New Addington does not have many things to be proud of, but GMT running through it is one of them. Leave it alone!

 
On 03/02/2012 12:06:00 B. Istead wrote:
This experiment took place a number of years ago and was subsequently rejected. We currently have a very young Government who may not be aware of the previous trial and its outcome. It proved a need to regionalise times throughout the UK as the Northern part of the UK had precious little daylight hours. The trial also greatly impacted on horticulture and agriculture. I believe the results of the previous trial should be thoroughly studied by all MPs prior to even considering a vote. I believe the previous trial took place in the late 1970's.
 
On 03/02/2012 14:20:00 Harry Marsh wrote:
First time I have responded to you but I support you entirely on this one. Its a relict from the past!!
 
On 03/02/2012 15:44:00 Roland wrote:
Sadly, there are a number of people that are either incapable or simply foolish that apparently represent the British electorate.

I'll continue supporting you locally Gavin even though nationally, I may have to reconsider.

 
On 03/02/2012 16:18:00 Grenville Johns wrote:
1. It may increase accidents in the darker morning rush hour.

2.. When tried previously there were reports of more accidents in the morning involving school children.

3. It may encourage the louts to be more active overnight.

4. I think don't fix it if it aint broke. As a country who gave GMT to the world this is part of our heritage and makes us British (and different from the European masses thank God.)

 
On 04/02/2012 15:41:00 David Brooks wrote:
I know of several people who suffer the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder; it would be good to help them. Surely, everyone would welcome additional daylight at a sensible time of day.
 
On 07/02/2012 11:40:00 Simon Goodair wrote:
Gawd bless those "small minority of MPs"!

I am against the change and don't believe the result of any study would have brought about a change so those MPs have saved us money.

When you next decide to resurrect this old, tired arguement could you please include HEAT as well as LIGHT in the argument, our sun being the source of both. We exist in a particular position on the planet and the time adjustment fits that position.

 
 

 

 

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Gavin Barwell, House of Commons, SW1A 1AA, Tel  020 8660 0491      © Gavin Barwell  2017       Promoted by Ian Parker on behalf of Gavin Barwell, both at 36 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2LG