The Benefits of Moving to Single/Double Summertime

  • Published: Tourism Insights, 2008
  • Authors: A. Sillito
  • Date Added: 18 Mar 2013
  • Last Update: 04 Jul 2014

Objectives:

To summarise how moving to SDST could benefit tourism and life in the UK in general.

Methodology:

Literature review.

Key Findings:

  • In the UK clocks follow Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) from October to March. From March to October, the clocks are put forward by an hour to British Summer Time (BST/GMT+1).

  • Over recent years campaigns for the introduction of Single/Double Summertime (SDST) have gained momentum. SDST would mean moving the clocks one hour ahead of GMT in the winter (GMT+1) and two hours ahead of GMT in the summer (GMT+2). This system would give lighter evenings all year round.

  • BST was introduced all year round in 1968-71 as an experiment, but its continuation was blocked following a vote in the House of Commons. The main issues raised were morning RTIs and disruption to early morning workers.

  • SDST has been proposed in a series of private member bills over the last 15 years, but none have progressed into law.

  • The most recent bill ‘Lighter Evenings (Experimental)’ – was introduced in 2006 by Tim Yeo MP. It proposed a three-year experiment of SDST, bringing time in England in line with Central European Time (CET). Also responsibility for changing time would be devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), Brake (the road safety charity) and the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) strongly support SDST.

  • Road casualty rates increase with the arrival of darker evenings and worsening weather conditions. Every Autumn when the clocks go back and the evenings become darker earlier, road casualties and the casualty rate rise. RoSPA states that introducing SDST would create lighter evenings all year round and result in fewer people being killed and injured in RTIs.

  • A 2006 online survey by RoSPA found that 86 per cent of people are in favour of SDST.

  • The effects of darker evenings are greatest for the most vulnerable road users such as children, the elderly, cyclists and motorcyclists. RoSPA reports that in 2002 pedestrian deaths and serious injuries rose from 759 in October to 851 after the clock change in November.

  • There have been a number of studies into the impact of SDST on road safety and estimates have been debated. The most recent and in-depth study was commissioned by the Government in 1998 to resolve the arguments about the likely impact of SDST. The study found that overall:

    • There would be 450 fewer deaths and serious injuries on UK roads each year;

    • In Scotland, the casualty reductions would be slightly lower proportionally than for Great Britain as a whole, but nevertheless there would be an overall reduction; and,

    • The reductions are greater for fatalities than for non-fatal casualties.

  • Although there would be more casualties in the morning during the winter, these would be outweighed by a reduction in causalities due to an hour of extra daylight in the evenings, producing an overall reduction. Typically there are more RTIs in the afternoon rush hour than the morning. Reasons for this include:

    • In the afternoon motorists are more tired after a day’s work and concentration levels are lower;

    • Children tend to go straight to school in a morning, but may go to after school clubs, friends’ houses and playgrounds on the way home; and,

    • Social trips tend to be made in the afternoon and evening.

Themes:

SDST, Casualty reductions

Comments:

Literature review which outlines the main advantages and disadvantages of moving to SDST, research is referenced.

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