Changing Clocks
Changing Clocks

On the 31st of March 2019, at 1 am all clocks in the UK will go forward an hour changing clocks as dictated by law. This is known as Daylight Savings Time or British Summer Time (BST). This is a measure that was first discussed in 1908 by William Willett who managed to get it debated by parliament, but it was not introduced into law in the UK till 1916. Various reasons were given. Such as. the use of natural light to save energy, extending factory hours, fewer accidents as traveling in light conditions and children not walking to school in the dark.

How EU Legislation affects UK time

So now the EU has passed legislation which aims to standardise time across all the countries and effectively scrap daylight savings time by the year 2020. But there is a caveat in that 28 countries including the UK will have if they wish the power not to adopt this.

Why not changing clocks is a good idea?

  • A lot of evidence from studies in America and the UK suggest that changing the clocks effects their health and sleep patterns making them irritable and tired.
  • Standardise time could make coordinating multinational companies easier to manage and coordinate business activities thus leading to economic benefits.
  • Planning travel and public transport timetables would be easier for people to understand and not have the inconvenience of having to change their timepiece or clocks as they enter new countries.
  • Gaining daylight in the evenings could generate more tourism economic benefits.
  • Energy savings could be realised by natural light in the evening reducing the need for more heat and light.
  • Lighter nights are proven by the AA to reduce accidents.
  • Children would benefit from longer light nights therefore may become more active, sources reckon by more than 20%.

Why not Changing Clocks is a bad idea ?

  • The main argument is that because of regional differences this could lead to differing times of sunrise and thus forcing children to travel to school in darkness.
  • People think that more sunshine in the morning prevents SAD syndrome where people deprived of exposure from the Sun suffer from symptoms including depression and lack of sleep.
  • In Ireland this could create and reinforce divisions by effectively creating two time zones between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
  • There are studies in America and the EU that suggests that changing the clocks effects health by disrupting sleep patterns and natural rhythms of the body.
  • Accidents are more prevalent in the darker nights according to sources such as the AA