RoSPA and IAM polls show support for BST change

14.03 | 28 October 2011 | | 2 comments

Both RoSPA and IAM are calling for an end to British Summer Time (BST), citing separate polls showing that the majority of people want the current system changed.

According to a poll carried out by RoSPA, 92% of people want the clocks to be changed to allow an extra hour of evening sunlight.

For decades, RoSPA has been at the forefront of the campaign to give the UK an extra hour of evening daylight, citing research showing that lighter nights would save 80 lives and prevent more than 200 serious injuries on our roads each year.

The result was revealed on Twitter by Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA’s chief executive, who went on to conduct an hour-long Q&A session on the social networking site.

According to RoSPA, the clock change campaign is closer to succeeding now than at any time since 1970, thanks to a Private Members’ Bill by Rebecca Harris MP – which passed its second reading in Parliament with a sizeable majority.

To help the Bill clear the next hurdle, RoSPA is calling on the public to help convince Westminster of its popularity.

If successful, the Bill will lead to the Government carrying out a cross-departmental analysis of the benefits of Single/Double Summer Time (GMT+1 in winter / GMT+2 in summer) – which in turn could trigger a three-year trial.

Tom Mullarkey said: “Our straw poll and the Twitter session were intended to spark debate on a subject where myths and legends have often blocked a clear-eyed view of the issues.

“It’s really encouraging that more than 400 people have visited my blog in recent days to tell me that they want lighter evenings.

“With almost every SDST opinion poll ever conducted showing resounding support, we now throw down the gauntlet to our politicians: give the people what they want; a proposal that brings so many benefits to the UK at no cost.”

An IAM poll of more than 2,000 motorists – conducted during last winter – found that 65% would support a double summertime system, moving the clocks forward by one hour throughout the entire year, while still putting the clocks forward in spring and back in autumn.

The IAM refers to DfT statistics which shows that there are 17% more pedestrian road casualties in November than the monthly average. This sharp increase is likely to be partly attributed to the winter clock change, says the IAM.

The IAM also highlights research which demonstrates that the number of motorcycle accidents in November is 41.8% higher than the normal monthly average and 73% higher than in February.

Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “Changing the current summertime system would save lives. Children especially are more likely to be out and about after school and an extra hour of daylight will make them more visible.

“We want to see a three-year trial of the new daylight system.  If the trial period proves the new daylight hours to be a disadvantage, it is clear that the current system should be reinstated. However with convincing evidence of the potential benefits, it seems only right that we pilot a new system.”


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    Given the recent tragedy regarding the M5 surely this and other matters need to be looked at urgently?

    K Ryan, Ireland
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    Double summertime is a GREAT idea because absolutely everybody wins: there’s no point in wasting daylight at 4am when hardly anyone is up and about. Not quite so sure about winter being GMT+1 however, because that would extend darkness to 10am in many places. Maybe winter as GMT and Summer as GMT+2?

    Gerry, London
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