28/10/2011

Gov Considers Daylight Saving Changes

The Government is to consider supporting the Daylight Savings Private Members Bill, which could eventually mean the advancing of time by one hour throughout the year across the country.

The Government said it is seeking amendments to the Bill, at the forthcoming Committee stage in the House of Commons, expected in early November. The Bill will need to be passed by both Houses by the end of the first session of Parliament, which ends in April 2012.

If this goes ahead, the Government said it will seek a UK wide consensus with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and then implement the shifting of our clocks forward for a trial period.

Business Minister Edward Davey said: “This is an issue which affects everyone across the country so we cannot rush head first into this. As the Prime Minister has made clear we would need consensus from the devolved administrations if any change were to take place. We have therefore tabled amendments to the current Bill to make sure that it addresses these concerns.

“It is only right that we at least look at what the potential economic and social benefits of any change might be. Lower road deaths, reduced carbon dioxide emissions and improved health have all been argued over the years as possible benefits. If there is strong evidence to support this then we should at least see what the possible benefits are.”

The Bill would require a review of the potential costs and benefits of advancing the clocks by one hour. It would then require the Secretary of State to bring forward legislation in Parliament to implement a trial and, if a new Independent Commission concluded the time change was beneficial, it could become permanent.

Any trial would last three years, the Government said.

This year, British Summer Time (BST) will end on Sunday 30 October at 2.00am Grenich Mean Time (GMT) throughout European Union Member States.

The clocks go back giving an extra hour, which means that at 2.00am (British Summer Time) the UK will move to 1.00am GMT.

(DW)

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