Saturday 30 October I drove home at the normal time of 5pm - in clear day light. Two days later, Monday 1 November, at the exact same time of 5pm, the drive home was in darkness.
I hate this abrupt change!
Yes, I know, the seasons change and going into the Winter there will be fewer and fewer hours of day light until the end of December where nature will pause a few days and then slowly, very slowly in the beginning, we'll have more light.
But having to adopt so suddenly in one day time instead of gradually getting used to the darkness is not natural. It's too abrupt, especially when the rush hour in most towns and villages start around 5pm and over one weekend this rush hour lands from day light into complete darkness.
All because we're switching from British Summertime back to GMT in the last weekend of October. Last Saturday Andrew Ellson (Personal Finance Editor) made some valuable points in The Times why "ditching the GMT" is an economical good decision:
- lower energy bills (and fewer carbon emissions) - lighting up later in the running up to December
- "A study published earlier this year also found that about 447,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions would have been saved if the clocks were not put back each year between 2001 and 2008, equating to electricity savings of 885GWh – enough to supply 200,000 households – and a reduction in peak demand of 4.3 per cent."
- fewer accidents, evidence suggests that lighter evening mean fewer accidents and fewer accidents means less costs for the NHS
- "Road safety experts believe up to 100 deaths could be prevented every year and it would also enable children to travel home in light."
- more savings in the public sector by spending less on heating and lighting
Others have already indicated that not switching back to GMT will mean longer and safer training periods for youngsters in the various sports. Over three hundred sporting organisations including the FA and Lawn Tennis Association are very much in favour of keeping the BST, it would increase participation and therefore cut obesity.
And of course for shoppers it will mean lighter and longer midday shopping - welcomed by retailers, bistros, bars, pubs etc.
"Up to 80,000 new jobs could be created in the tourist industry, as longer evenings would extend the tourist season and allow attractions to stay open for longer in the year."
There's a Private Member's Bill (by Rebecca Harris - Con) working its way through Parliament that, if passed, would mean the clocks stay unchanged next winter.
This Bill is due for its second reading on 3 December.
If you support the idea, write to your local MP to demand he or she supports the legislation. They should!
According to Andrew Ellson, they - politicians - won't get many easier opportunities to put some money in their constituents' pockets.
(The MP for Ashford is Damian Green - Con and you can reach him through firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message through his Ashford page).