In recent days it’s been reported that the UK could ditch using Greenwich Mean Time in coming years with a permanent switch to British Summer Time.
Previous surveys have shown popular support for the change meaning lighter evenings over winter months. But now the EU is attached and so, of course, many of those same people are now recoiling in horror.
On a personal level bring it on I say. I’d love longer winter afternoons. No more sunsets at 4pm. Today, for example, it would be light until gone 5pm if the sun was out. By the end of January it’d be near 6:30pm.
As a dad I’d get to take my child out for a walk more often after work. One of the main reasons for the change by advocates is that children can play after they finish school. People finishing work are also more likely to walk home in late winter and early spring. Age Concern have supported the change too as beneficial to many elderly people. It’s good for health.
The flipside is darker mornings, but mornings are not exactly a time for leisure for most people rushing to work or school. People generally don’t take walks for pleasure on the way to work where a fixed start work or school time applies. It’s head down time having a coffee to wake up. Who really cares if light or dark then? Not so for many in the evening when free time is at a premium.
During World War Two Britain used BST in the winter and BST +1 in the summer so it’s not anything new. That helped with daylight during a time when reducing energy consumption was important – and the blackout was ongoing.
The blackout argument may no longer exist but saving energy is always a bonus – except for energy companies.
Lastly we have tourism. Some may say ditching GMT may harm Greenwich. I think that’s extremely unlikely. Instead, an extra hour’s daylight would see more people in the park and at other tourists attractions not just in the town but across the country.
Now, with all those benefits and previous support from swaths of the country I expect this to be ditched. Why? Well, it’s part of an EU scheme and we can’t have that.