Time for Change, Setting Clocks Forward by One Hour Throughout the Year, A New Review of the Evidence

  • Published: Policy Studies Institute, 1993
  • Authors: M. Hillman
  • Date Added: 18 Mar 2013
  • Last Update: 18 Mar 2013
  • Format: pdf


Update the original study of the costs and benefits for the UK of putting its clocks forward by one hour in summer and in winter which was published in 1988 by Policy Studies Institute under the title ‘Making the Most of Daylight Hours’.

Incorporation of additional evidence which was previously unavailable.

Editing of text to produce a summary of the principal findings of the original report in order to make it more accessible for informed public and parliamentary debate on the subject.


Review of existing literature.

Key Findings:

  • Such a clock change would have the effect of transferring an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. The extra hour of daylight in the evening would be experienced for all 365 days of the year whilst, for most of the population, the loss of the hour of daylight in the morning would be noticeable only in the winter months, as most people get up after sunrise for about nine months of the year.

  • The widely expressed concerns about the adverse effects on road and other outdoor RTIs of SDST - that is moving the hour of daylight from morning to evening - are perverse. The small increase in RTIs on the darker winter mornings, especially among children on their way to school which occurred during the experimental period from 1968 to 1971 of maintaining BST throughout the year seems to have been so imprinted on the public memory that the far more substantial decrease stemming from the lighter late afternoons in the winter and evenings in the summer has been overlooked.

  • The number of deaths and serious injuries and of damage-only RTIs on the roads would now be reduced by over 600 each year, with an estimated saving of over £200 million. All the main organisations concerned with safety have indicated their support for the adoption of SDST.

  • Analysis of the frequency of RTIs by hour of day in relation to patterns of travel indicates that the attention paid by all road users deteriorates as the day wears on.

  • Examination of ‘time budget’ surveys show that children’s travel, involving journeys to friends’ houses, or to places of recreation, occupies nearly as much of their time as journeys to and from school, and that far more of it takes place in the late afternoon and early evening, in marked contrast to the morning and mid afternoon peaks of school travel.


Cost savings, Children, SDST.


Outlines the benefits of adopting SDST.