Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Stop this nonsense of changing clocks

Not surprisingly the topic of whether we should adjust our clocks twice a year is again in the news. There’s not a person I speak to who thinks this twice-yearly practice is a good one. It’s daft, inconvenient and a throw-back to the past. More than that, research consistently shows that sticking with BST (ie GMT + 1) would save lives - though estimates vary; I’ve seen 400 mentioned and 100.

Two myths for changing clocks are currently put forward.

Farmers. The argument is they would lose daylight working time and livestock feeding and milking would have to be adjusted. To my knowledge livestock don’t have watches so won’t really know the difference; moreover as daylight slowly shifts, so would milking and feeding ‘memory’ for livestock. Animals won’t know the difference. As for losing time, the farmers must not have learned to tell the time; they have the same amount of daylight, just in slightly different places.

Scotland is the second issue. I understand that the Scottish Executive has now accepted that not changing the clocks will save lives. So there shouldn’t be a block here. Anyway, why should the rest of the UK fall into line with Scotland in the light of research? If Scotland wants to retain its changing clocks, let it.

In 1968 - 71 there was an experiment in the UK and clocks weren’t changed. There were less deaths on the road but this result was seen as inconclusive since tough drink-drive laws had just been enacted.

Not to change our clocks won’t necessarily bring us into line with Europe, who continue to change clocks. But then, perhaps where the UK leads, the rest of Europe might follow.

There are regular attempts to change the UK practice, all have failed. But pressure doesn’t go away and I feel is mounting. Perhaps its time has come (and apologies for that inevitable pun.)

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