BBC BLOGS - Have Your Say
« Previous | Main | Next »

Should we stay permanently on British Summer Time?

12:43 UK time, Friday, 29 October 2010

Dr Mayer Hillman, a public policy specialist at the Policy Studies Institute wants the UK to keep British Summer Time throughout the year. Do you support the idea?
Dr Hillman says the extra hour of evening daylight would give everyone more opportunities to be active outdoors and help us become fitter and healthier.

The ending of GMT is supported by the Mayor who says London's economy could be boosted by more than half a billion pounds if the clocks were not turned back.

However, permanent summertime is unlikely to be well received in northern England and Scotland where an extra hour in the mornings would see the sun rising after 9am and children facing the prospect of going to school in the dark.

Do you think the country would work with two time zones?Are you in northern England and Scotland? Are you affected when the clocks change? Send us your comments and experiences.

See your pictures of dawn. How light or dark is it at 0730 where you live?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    erm the world revolves around GMT so why should that change? and i somehow doubt 500m would be magically gained i have a funny feeling that that 500m figure is just as if the hour never got replaced.

    and on another note do they realise how much it would cost to update every compter and all date and time using software? and mass confusion?


    IF ITS NOT BROKE DONT FIX IT

  • Comment number 2.

    Yes. We should.

  • Comment number 3.

    2. potatolord: "Yes. We should."

    OTOH

    No. We shouldn't.

    or

    Maybe. I'm not sure.

    There, that's all the main points covered.

  • Comment number 4.

    It will cost a lot to change and the benefits are questionable. Just leave it alone and get on with something useful instead. Policy Studies Institute sounds like something ripe for culling.

  • Comment number 5.

    The Sun rises and then sets

    or

    Does it set then rise

    Could make a good debate out of that one as well.

    Time was made a standard and is very important for most activities but why on earth do we need to put the clock back and forth. Use the true GMT, and stick with it.

  • Comment number 6.

    Every year, the same tired old argument from the BBC. Please leave well alone and leave us to our traditions.

    Really, you'd think it was a disaster every year. In all mine, it hasn't caused me any traumas, so why do we have this discussion year after year after year?

  • Comment number 7.

    1. At 1:04pm on 29 Oct 2010, scotty1694 wrote:
    erm the world revolves around GMT so why should that change? and i somehow doubt 500m would be magically gained i have a funny feeling that that 500m figure is just as if the hour never got replaced.

    and on another note do they realise how much it would cost to update every compter and all date and time using software? and mass confusion?


    IF ITS NOT BROKE DONT FIX IT
    -----------------------------------
    A couple of points:
    -The world dosen't revolve around GMT.
    -On Monday afternoon of next week there will be an increase in the number of road traffic accidents as communters, parents and pedestrians take time to adjust to using dark roads at peak times. Some of these accidents will be fatal. I would charachterise that as a broken system.

    The experimental move to permanent BST conducted in the '60s was abandoned when a handful of Scottish Dairy farmers complained that it was dark when they got up to milk the cows. I'm no expert on dairy farming, but can't they just get up an hour later? It's not like the cows pay any attention to where the little hand is on the clock!

  • Comment number 8.

    Yes we should leave the time at summer time or even add and extra hour

    Business in stock exchange would benefit enormously especially in trade with Europe

    its a anachronistic interference having very small benefit to anyone

  • Comment number 9.

    Stay on summer time during the winter and move to double summer time in summer!

    When the clocks go back on Sunday the sun will riset (here) at 7am and set at 5pm. It will be Sunday. I'm not getting up until 8am - but I will be up a lot later than 5pm.

    If the Scots want a different time zone to the rest of the UK - let them have one.

  • Comment number 10.

    As others have pointed out, if this means the abolition of GMT it has implications not only for the UK but for the rest of the world, which currently uses it as a benchmark. No doubt it would suit Brussels to have us on the same time zone as France and Spain, but we're a lot further north than either. Tinkering with clocks is not going to change the fundamental fact that in the depths of winter there are only six or seven hours of daylight at our latitude and short of reducing the length of the working / school day (unlikely) either the morning or evening rush is going to take place in the dark.

    I don't see how a dark evening is better than a dark morning in safety terms and as such this seems to be a solution in search of a problem which will require a monumental amount of resources and administration at a time when (huge rises in directors' salaries and bonuses aside) we're all being constantly reminded that there's no money for essentials let along fixing what isn't broke.

    However, that's not the point is it. The current proposals seem to be being driven by the immensely powerful anti-obesity lobby, and as such we'll no doubt end up adopting them since anyone who opposes it will be demonised as morally irresponsible and personally culpable for all those alleged billions of ginormously fat kids waddling about, who pause from stuffing their faces only long enough (/sarcasm) to be the subjects of balanced, 'educational' Channel 4 shockumentaries and 'balanced' BBC articles that only ever come to the conclusion of favouring more interference, regulation and hair-brained schemes such as this.

  • Comment number 11.

    "Should we permanently stay on British Summer Time"?

    Don't know anymore - what does the EU Commission; The European Parliament and all EU eurocrats or Human Rights lawyers want us to do?

  • Comment number 12.

    My heart sinks every time I hear the suggestion that the clocks should not go back in the autumn. Dark evenings make no difference to me at all - once I'm back from work I have the choice whether to go out or not, and usually I don't, whether it's broad daylight or pitch dark. But I find it all but unbearable having to get up in the dark, when 6 or 7 o'clock feels as if it might as well be 3 or 4. As the days shorten I long for the end of October when the clocks change and there is some respite from it, and it's the early spring I dread when the lightening mornings are once more plunged into gloom. As for the hypothetical improvement in public health, I can't see why people would want to run around the park in the cold and wet, even if it isn't quite dark. And I certainly find the tiredness caused by the dark mornings detrimental to my own health.

    If I thought it would bring about a real improvement in the numbers of road accidents, I would put my feelings aside and agree with the proposal. But tinkering with the clocks isn't going to give us any more daylight - it just means drivers and pedestrians would have to contend with the darkness in the morning rush hour instead of the evening.

  • Comment number 13.

    I am looking forward to getting up early on Sunday morning when it is light instead of dark, so am having trouble working out how I am meant to save on electricty by having and extra hour of light in the evening, when I won't have to turn the light on at 7.00am in the morning. If the clocks don't go back, the morning will be even more gloomy then they are now. I don't care about the evenings, because it gets dark very early, anyway in the winter, and one hour doesn't make a lot of difference when you are travelling home from work at 6.00pm. Also, I can't see how it will make much difference for children coming home from school if it starts getting dark at 5.00pm instead of 4.00pm. My second thought is, I get sick to death of noisy neighbours and their garden parties in the summer, and an extra hour of it, would be horrendous. No, please keep clocks as they are, it is the morning that deserves the extra light, the evening is long and dark anyway.

  • Comment number 14.

    "On Monday afternoon of next week there will be an increase in the number of road traffic accidents as communters, parents and pedestrians take time to adjust to using dark roads at peak times. Some of these accidents will be fatal. I would charachterise that as a broken system."

    For the past week I've been driving to work in the dark and it's been dusk when I've left. Not much of an adjustment required there, I'd say.

    Also (and completely contra common-sense) most RTAs occur on Saturdays in August.

  • Comment number 15.

    A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.

  • Comment number 16.

    I live almost within cycling distance of the Arctic Circle, where it doesn't really matter what time you call it, at this time of the year it is dark pretty well all day. There is no noticeable increase in road accidents, and it is perfectly possible to be active without the benefit of daylight. I fail to understand why the clocks need to be altered at all, at any time of the year.

  • Comment number 17.

    "How much does the EU Commission and European Parliament squander during GMT" Would be a more relevant debate perhaps?

    How much money has David Cameron saved UK from paying the EU just as 'British Summertime' ends?

    Have stayed 'on topic'?

  • Comment number 18.

    7. At 1:30pm on 29 Oct 2010, Billy wrote:
    1. At 1:04pm on 29 Oct 2010, scotty1694 wrote:
    erm the world revolves around GMT so why should that change? and i somehow doubt 500m would be magically gained i have a funny feeling that that 500m figure is just as if the hour never got replaced.

    and on another note do they realise how much it would cost to update every compter and all date and time using software? and mass confusion?


    IF ITS NOT BROKE DONT FIX IT
    -----------------------------------
    A couple of points:
    -The world dosen't revolve around GMT.
    -On Monday afternoon of next week there will be an increase in the number of road traffic accidents as communters, parents and pedestrians take time to adjust to using dark roads at peak times. Some of these accidents will be fatal. I would charachterise that as a broken system.

    The experimental move to permanent BST conducted in the '60s was abandoned when a handful of Scottish Dairy farmers complained that it was dark when they got up to milk the cows. I'm no expert on dairy farming, but can't they just get up an hour later? It's not like the cows pay any attention to where the little hand is on the clock!
    ------------------------

    im sure there will be negative to changing like the enormous cost of updating every bit of software that has gmt on it.


    take a look at your computers world clock

    it will look like this

    GMT +1
    GMT +2
    or GMT -1
    and so on

    gmt becae the world standart for timezones



    5. At 1:25pm on 29 Oct 2010, chrisk50 wrote:
    The Sun rises and then sets

    or

    Does it set then rise

    Could make a good debate out of that one as well.

    Time was made a standard and is very important for most activities but why on earth do we need to put the clock back and forth. Use the true GMT, and stick with it.


    --------------------------------

    we need to do it because the earth it tilted does nobody take science anymore?

  • Comment number 19.

    Don't care either way.

  • Comment number 20.

    7. At 1:30pm on 29 Oct 2010, Billy wrote:
    1. At 1:04pm on 29 Oct 2010, scotty1694 wrote:
    erm the world revolves around GMT so why should that change? and i somehow doubt 500m would be magically gained i have a funny feeling that that 500m figure is just as if the hour never got replaced.

    and on another note do they realise how much it would cost to update every compter and all date and time using software? and mass confusion?


    IF ITS NOT BROKE DONT FIX IT
    -----------------------------------
    A couple of points:
    -The world dosen't revolve around GMT.
    -On Monday afternoon of next week there will be an increase in the number of road traffic accidents as communters, parents and pedestrians take time to adjust to using dark roads at peak times. Some of these accidents will be fatal. I would charachterise that as a broken system.


    what utter tripe infact where is your proof i want statistics and proof these accident were soley caused by it being dark? even though everyone drive in the dark anyhow?

    honestly what utter tripe (maybe not aimed at you but if that satement is a true quote then it aimed at the produces of it)

    its like the speed camera debate now that they have seen sense and are getting rid of them supporters of them say
    scince the speed cameras have gone 80% more people speed
    this is meaningless though it just means 80% of people now dont slow down for the camera then speed straight back up

  • Comment number 21.

    Any amount of fiddling with clocks makes absolutely no difference to the number of hours of daylight we see. If you want more daylight in the morning, get up earlier!

  • Comment number 22.

    Would it make sense to be on the same time as most of the rest of continental Europe?
    France is one hour ahead of Britain although a lot of it is further west.

  • Comment number 23.

    Would it make sense to be on the same time as most of the rest of continental Europe?
    France is one hour ahead of Britain although a lot of it is further west.

    france should be on GMT but well there french they have to be different

  • Comment number 24.

    To Mark Scott:
    Your first point is incontrovertible - but how would getting up earlier help? It's already dark when I get up (at 5.30 much of the time in fact). If I got up any earlier it would be darker for even longer! If you mean 'get up later', I would if I could ... but that's what it takes to get to work on time!

  • Comment number 25.

    Another debate we only had a few weeks ago, (same week as the "are teenagers killing the English language" one if I remember correctly)
    Maybe we should all just cut n paste our answers from there. That'd save all the Scots & Farmers getting annoyed & everyone else from making fun of them. It's been tried it didn't work, move on!

    Whats next HYS?
    Take That touring again, do you care or would you rather put forks in your ears?

    What did you REALLY think of the popes visit?

    Should "cat in bin" woman have been hung,drawn & quartered?

    Immigrants eh? discuss....

    ;)

  • Comment number 26.

    Half of the country shouldn't be inconvenienced for the sake of the other, one way or the other. We should have 2 time zones.

  • Comment number 27.

    8. At 1:34pm on 29 Oct 2010, Casitian wrote:
    Business in stock exchange would benefit enormously especially in trade with Europe


    Excellent suggestion, give the bankers and 'clever' moneymen even more time to ruin the world all over again!

  • Comment number 28.

    No. Not bad if you live down south, now there's a surprise. Up north it would mean not coming daylight until after 09.00am, miserable.

  • Comment number 29.

    Do you have to have this one again BBC ?

    Every single time the clocks change you bring out the same old debate which gives rise to the same old answers.

    How about giving us something fun to discuss like in the old days of HYS when Friday afternoon was a time to let your hair down, maybe a discussion about time travel given the story you’re currently running relating to this issue.

    It'll be as irrelevant as this debate but at least it would raise a few smiles...

  • Comment number 30.

    Move the clocks an hour and watch everyone move their body and work clocks an hour.
    The only difference is there will be a campaign to move the clocks an hour the other way, or maybe 4 so we can do business with the US better.

  • Comment number 31.

    We should adopt the same times as Germany, France , Spain etc. Ie Double summer time in summer, BST in winter. This will cut accidents and make communications with Europe easier

    As for Scottish schools etc . They should be allowed to start at 10am in winter if they object to the early start

  • Comment number 32.

    Wouldn't it be simpler not to change the clocks. For those in the north just go to work or school and hour later. Simple.

  • Comment number 33.

    I reckon that abolishing 'British Summer Time' would be a really bad idea - 'Outraged of Tunbridge Wells' might have to find something else to winge about every year............

  • Comment number 34.

    When we are on GMT the day is centered on 12 noon in terms of the amount of daylight we get. Thee are the same number of hours of daylight before noon as after. The problem is that the way most of us live our lives, our days are NOT centered on 12 noon but nearer to 1pm. Consequently, daylight is wasted first thing in the morning when most people are not up and about, and darkness seems to arrive far too early in the afternoon when we're still in need of it.

    It is for this reason that keeping the clocks on summer time during the winter would be advantageous: it fits in with our lifestyle. This argument applies whether you live in the north or the south - the only thing that alters with latitude is the number of daylight hours you get. It is longitude, not latitude, that determines whether they're shifted earlier or later relative to GMT.

    Any way, it ain't gonna happen, so see you all the same time next year for exactly the same discussion, and so on, ad infinitum.

  • Comment number 35.

    YES YES YES YES YES YES PLEASE .It would make the winter a lot better for alot of people but i cant see it happening u have to many drips out there moaning about there lec equipment .ps give us light .beartrix

  • Comment number 36.

    Stick to GMT. After all London is the centre of the world, you know.

  • Comment number 37.

    IS A SCOTTISH CHILDs LIFE WORTH LESS THAN A CHILD BORN IN LONDON?

    The last time this happened back in the early seventies there was a drop in deaths in england and an increase in scotland. Will Rospa be content in cet. Will they campaign for us to be on finland or even moscow time so that we can enjoy lighter evenings. The whole putting the clocks has to end. We are at a northerly latitude and we just have to accept that we have big swings in day and night both in summer and winter

    KEEP GMT ALL YEAR ROUND

  • Comment number 38.

    I think I prefer BST... but what I really want is an end to the disruption of putting clocks forward and back every year.

    Most of my clocks are computer-based so sort themselves out, but unfortunately my own body clock takes over a week to adjust every time! No surprise that the farmers around here leave their clocks alone at least as far as the poor cows are concerned!

    People who have specific needs can always decide to travel an hour earlier or later or change the time at which they do something if they must, but that's their choice.

  • Comment number 39.

    My main form of exercise is swimming. The local swimming pool has electric lights so the argument doesn't work for me. It doesn't work for anyone with a gym membership either. I'd love to know what form of exercise DOES require daylight but is immune to the wet and cold of a British winter?

    Potentially this is the weakest argument I've heard in a long time.

    Most of Britain is further north than Moscow. We simply do not have enough hours of daylight in mid winter. No matter how you set the clocks you will either be going to or leaving work in the dark. Personally I'd leave things as they are.. I start at 8am and leave about 5-ish so at present there is at least some light in the sky for both commutes.

    Britain and France not being in the same timezone might be daft but how daft would it be if Scotland and England were no longer on the same time or if you had to reset your watch driving from Northern Ireland into the Irish Republic? (further west than England)

    The idea that Greenwich should no longer be on GMT is wonderfully ridiculous.... but what else do you expect from a political party who's leader claimed Britain was 'the junior partner in 1940'?

  • Comment number 40.

    3. At 1:14pm on 29 Oct 2010, Simon Harpham wrote:
    2. potatolord: "Yes. We should."

    OTOH

    No. We shouldn't.

    or

    Maybe. I'm not sure.

    There, that's all the main points covered.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    5. At 1:25pm on 29 Oct 2010, chrisk50 wrote:
    The Sun rises and then sets

    or

    Does it set then rise

    Could make a good debate out of that one as well.

    Time was made a standard and is very important for most activities but why on earth do we need to put the clock back and forth. Use the true GMT, and stick with it.

    =============================ooooooooooooo===============================

    This is all so confusing. One minute I can't make my mind up, the next I'm just not sure

  • Comment number 41.

    15. At 2:46pm on 29 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.


    Eh?

    A man with a watch THINKS he knows what the time is. A man with two watches presumably would set them to the same time? Its only if one is wrong that he doesn't know which one is the correct time and dialling '1,2,3' on his home phone will pretty soon correct his problem.

    Unless you're actually on the Greenwich meridian 'the time' is an artificial concept anyway. 12pm is when the sun is as high as its going to get at 0' longditude. Because of that different parts of the UK had different times (based on when the sun was directly overhead locally) until the railways forced a standard zone onto the whole country.

  • Comment number 42.

    21. At 3:03pm on 29 Oct 2010, Mark Scott wrote:
    Any amount of fiddling with clocks makes absolutely no difference to the number of hours of daylight we see. If you want more daylight in the morning, get up earlier!



    Get up later surely? I get up at 6am and its pitch dark now. If I get up at 5am it'll be even darker.

  • Comment number 43.

    Clearly yes.
    It is already dark quite early in the evening, next Monday it will be dark before I leave work - for no good reason.
    Further for those that say if it isn't broke don't fix it, it is broke - very broke, I get NO time after work in daylight - and I don't get a choice of hours.
    For those that complain that they won't get enough sleep (heard one farmer on the radio saying his chickens wouldn't come in until an hour later without realising he would start an hour later) its not altering the NUMBER of hours of daylight, just when.
    For those who complain that kids in the very north of Scotland will go to school in the dark they will come home in lighter situations, most probably go in 4x4's or busses anyway.

    I think the hours should have moved years ago.

  • Comment number 44.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 45.

    We tried that from 1968 to 1971, under the name of "British Standard Time", when the clocks didn't go back in the winter. It was almost universally hated, and British Standard Time was nicknamed "Bloody Stupid Time". It's taken 40 years for the memory to fade and so that this bad idea could be resurrected. Look: the number of hours of daylight are fixed. Either we have dark evenings or we have dark mornings. We tried dark mornings, and it didn't work.

  • Comment number 46.

    Actually I heard a Scottish politician on radio bemoaning the 'forces of darkness' who want to make sure that sunrise doesn't occur until after the children have gone to school. I've just done a quick check on the web, thats already the case in Stornoway during the winter anyway (sunrise 9:15), the sunset is currently 3:37. With the proposal sun rise will not be until 10:15 - but then the kids will be in class anyway, but sunset will not be until 4:37 giving them a safer trip home and a chance to see the sun after school.

    Anyway, somehow Finland manages with even less sun.

  • Comment number 47.

    Is this such a big deal?Has anyone noticed there are currently 14,yes fourteen volcanos now erupting around the Pacific rim.I think this and the state of the worlds economy is the least of our problems.

  • Comment number 48.

    I never understand the logic of those who argue for remaining on British Summer Time all year round. If we gained an hour of light in the evenings, we'd lose an hour in the mornings. Instead of travelling home in the dark, we'd travel to school and / or work in the dark instead; the risks associated with travelling in the dark would just shift from evening to morning, so we're just moving the problem not actually changing anything.

    I also cannot see how making more people get up when it's still dark is going to make the nation happier. In winter, you expect to travel home in the dark - but to get to work when it's still dark is just too depressing. At this time of the year, it's the bright, crisp mornings that brighten your day, wake you up, and prepare you for the day ahead - if we were all trudging to work in the dark or half light, we would lose that.

  • Comment number 49.

    I'm old enough to remember the last time the UK stayed on BST for the winter in the early 70s. It was fantastic!
    I can't believe they didn't adopt BST/Double BST back then, and I can't believe that we're still debating it - it's a no-brainer.
    So, what's to gain?
    * European harmonisation
    * Less energy consumed
    * Less carbon footprint
    * Helps to hit CO2 targets.
    * Less pollution
    * More daylight when (the majority of) people want it.
    * Less traffic accidents
    * Greater opportunity for outdoor activities
    * Less opportunity for delinquency/vandalism.
    * A healthier nation, through increased outdoor activity and decreased pollution.

    Why should we spend a penny on energy conservation/combating global warming/CO2 when we haven't maximised natures great, free, resource, natural sunlight?

    The only argument I've ever heard against it is from Scottish farmers who have to get up in the dark - well, they have to get up in the dark anyway!

  • Comment number 50.

    No. Please let us stay on GMT. In fact, I'd be happy with GMT for 365/6 days a year, but then I live on the south coast, and I'm an early riser. Equally, if the majority in Scotland wish to have BST all year round, I wouldn't have an issue with them changing - I can see their argument for a change. Here we have around seven hours of daylight on the shortest day, and having that between 8 something and 3 something seems to be about right. Please leave us be, "it ain't broke . . ."

  • Comment number 51.

    I remember they tried this is the 50s or 60s when I was a kid. I lived in Glasgow at the time, and it was dark until about 10 am in December and January. I recall there were quite a few accidents involving kids at the time. We used to walk or cycle to school in those days.

    Don't think I would like to see it brought in again. I definitely would not want to see two different time zones within the UK just to please those who live in the south of England.

    Our country straddles the GMT line and I don;t really see why the clocks change at all. Where I live, it is light till well after 11pm in summer and dawn is about 4 am. So changing the clocks for the summer seems like a waste of time to me.

    Just put the clocks on GMT and leave them there permanently.

  • Comment number 52.

    The present arrangement is already part of the rhythm of our lives, so altering it is not going to be beneficial to our biological time clock.

  • Comment number 53.

    Let's keep the traditional times

    The reason we have obese children and adults now is because they don't exercise or play at any time - the length of daylight has nothing to do with it.

    I like the early morning light and brightness - I exercise then before work - but this is too difficult for the obese. Ye gods what a country.

    The mention of speed cameras is laughable - speed cameras kept speeds down at accidents spots - now we will get more accidents at these spots and bring back speed cameras. This is because many drivers are irresponsible at all times - at least with speed cameras we caught some.

    We will have Disaster for five years - so vote Labour next time.

  • Comment number 54.

    It is perverse to suggest shifting available daylight hours to occupy a different slice of the clock day has anything other than a mild and briefly psychological influence on how people behave or feel. The same is true in late spring and early summer when eighteen hours of daylight have a mild but briefly perceptible influence on behaviour and feelings. In both cases this feeling can be wiped out by local weather.

    Playing with clocks is not the way to deal with this. Simply accepting shorter days are different to longer days does deal with it. Leave the clocks on GMT the whole year around.

    And as for safety, doesn't playing with our body clocks twice a year play more havoc on us than short days or short nights?

  • Comment number 55.

    Yes definitely! I dread putting the clocks back, it means that the only time I can get out and about it is dark. I don't care about dark in the morning, it is in the evening when we need daylight. Please let's keep BST! I don't want double summer time in the summer.

  • Comment number 56.

    Yes please, i live outside the uk and phone home, at the moment it's 2 hrs behind and next week 3 hours behind, 2 hrs seems ok, but 3 hours means i'm off to bed as my wife gets home from work... keep bst....

  • Comment number 57.

    Personally I prefer more daylight hours in the evening but considering the small amount of daylight during winter I suppose it doesn't really affect me. Though if Scottish dairy farmers are the only reason then I think it needs to be reassessed. After all there are less of them now that we import a lot of our milk.

  • Comment number 58.

    Been there, done that and glad it was ended after a 3 year 'experiment'. The claimed economics didn't materialise despite current blah blah that it could save millions and reduce traffic. What rubbish! One of the main issues was having to accompany children to school in complete darkness, having to wear reflective gear to alert sleepy motorists but most of all, putting economics before lives, that's lunacy!

  • Comment number 59.

    Why not stick to GMT all the year round no matter how much fiddling with time
    we will still only have the daylight hours available that nature gives us ,I am not to sure that farmers really benefit much from THE EXTRA HOUR OF DAYLIGHT !!! ,
    Its pretty dark at 5am in the winter and still dark at 6am . With all the changing of clocks I still had to go and come home from work in the dark.
    Lets stick to GMT .

    WE HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE DID IT WORK THEN ??

  • Comment number 60.

    'if this means the abolition of GMT '....

    It would NOT. GMT would still exist. The UK would just be on GMT+1 in the winter and GMT+2 in the summer. (... and the world uses UTC not GMT as a reference, it's just that UTC is for most purposes the same as GMT).

    Yes, there'd be the same hours of daylight, but it's all about when to have them. I'd rather have a lighter evening than a lighter morning any time.

  • Comment number 61.

    NO!

    While for a small part of the south east it may be good, try living in the north where it gets light a bit later. In Manchester we would see December sunrises at around 9:00 or later. In parts of Scotland sunrise would be nearer 10:00.

    I don't mind darkness in the evenings when I am fully awake, when I am alert and able to function. But further darkness when I'm trying to walk to Uni at 8:30 in the morning? No thank you.

    Oh, and to those who think on saving in the lighting bills because of a change, think again. Your heating bills would go right up, and you'd need the same amount of lighting as you are switching an hour of light around during a period of wakefulness. It may suprise some of you to hear this, but I have experience of getting up at 6:30 in the morning. It is cold in winter. It is about 30 minutes after the coldest part of the night. You really want to move that to a period when you are awake?? You are crazy if you say yes.

    Also in the summer, are you sure you would like the sun setting at around 22:00? I've lived in a place where it does in the summer. It then took almost two hours to get dark. You would be seriously disrupting sleep patterns by changing the system - believe me it is hard to get to sleep in the light. The Russians all know that less morning light is one of the causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder - why do you think there are so many exceptions in the inhabited areas of Russia to Decree time? Why do you think they abandoned two time zones for earlier times? The present system is good for all. Don't muck it up!

    Looking forward to getting up in the light again next week! Pre-dawn wake ups are hard after you spent the last evening exhausting yourself trying to make decent sense of the homework you got that day.

  • Comment number 62.

    32. At 4:04pm on 29 Oct 2010, BradyFox wrote:

    Wouldn't it be simpler not to change the clocks. For those in the north just go to work or school and hour later. Simple.

    --------------

    I consider that to be "simple" logic if you have a narrow-minded opinion of what is best for the country; not all of the country, just a particular part of it.

    Why should part of this country be disadvantaged and inconvenienced for the benefit of another part in something that is currently flexible to suit the wellbeing of the nation as a whole?

  • Comment number 63.

    41. At 4:17pm on 29 Oct 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    A man with a watch THINKS he knows what the time is.


    Not if he has a radio controlled atomic watch.

  • Comment number 64.

    If you wish to have more daylight at the end of the working day then start work earlier and finish earlier, DO NOT mess about with the clocks. Noon should mean what the clock indicates, that is to say, as close to true midday as is feasible. Astronomers have gone to a great deal of trouble to provide a system of time keeping whereby variable sidereal events may best be linked to civil time pieces.

    Here in the Northern Isles the experience has been that dark mornings, with the greater risk from frost (ice), fog and a drowsy view of the world, is a more dangerous time to be moving about than in the evenings.

    Tampering with the clocks is little better than “pub mentality” where clocks are sometimes put forward ten minutes to help clear the decks!


  • Comment number 65.

    I live in Scotland central and hate when the clocks go back. It conflicts with timers set, working hours, a bit or little daylight for a couple of weeks then back to the dark. I feel miserable when the clocks go back travelling to work and back home in the dark. Traffic problems become the same both morning and night... simply no advantage. Leave the clocks on summer time.

  • Comment number 66.

    Not this topic again....



  • Comment number 67.

    I agree with the proposed changes that would bring the UK timezone into line with that of Europe. It would make a lot of sense to synchronise better waking and daylight hours in the UK.

    In the winter, lighter afternoons/evenings would be likely to maintain people in a sufficiently cheerful mood to take more exercise after work - even if it were getting dark by the time they left work they would not yet have experienced so many hours of darkness and so would presumably be more likely still to make the effort to exercise.

    Many people in the UK already get up and go to work in the dark in the winter. One good way of being alert when doing so is to get up at the same time each day, thus setting a 'body clock' after a relatively short time of a few weeks. If people are thus equally alert at both ends of the day, changing to the European timezone should make no difference to road safety.

    However, previously on the BBC website there was an article arguing that it is more dangerous for children to come home from school in the dark - as they do so at various times when drivers are not necessarily expecting them on the road - than it is to go to school in the dark, when they all tend to be on the roads at the same time. This must be another argument for advancing the UK clocks.

    In the summer, it currently seems rather a waste for dawn to come so early, but the light in the evenings not to have much intensity. Advancing the UK time would therefore also make the evening light more useful.

    Since knowing farmers who do not get up early for their animals, and now having livestock of my own, I have wondered much more about the repeatedly cited wish of Scottish farmers to maintain extra hours of daylight by the UK staying on its current time. Animals like humans also have a recently discovered 'body clock' driven by meal-times (also reported on the BBC), so in the proposed new time the farmers could either re-train their animals to expect to eat at a different time (this takes about a week in my experience) or still feed them at the same astronomical time and just call it the new time.

    I rather suspect that it is not really the farmers who want to maintain the status quo but that they are being mis-represented - after all, how can it be said that the actual number of hours of daylight in a 24-hr period in one location will be gained or lost?

    For the growing number of people and businesses operating simultaneously in the UK and other parts of Europe, it would also make life much easier, and thus economic sense, to be in the same timezone.

    Finally, it seems quite absurd at the moment that parts of Europe to the south and even west of the UK are 1 hour ahead of the UK. With the proposed change, the average astronomical time would be approximately the same in the UK and Spain, where daylight and waking hours are synchronised as much as possible. In Spain, most things happen an hour later according to the clock, but at the same actual/astronomical time. Perhaps in the UK, we will find that we are all more adaptable than certain arguments might have led us to believe.

  • Comment number 68.

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 69.

    No, we should keep GMT.
    The proposal for change is not for the benefit of the people of the UK. It is being driven by the political ambitions of the EU, who want even our time to be dictated from Brussels.
    The French have always resented the importance of the Greenwich Meridian and would love GMT to be abandoned in favour of European time.

  • Comment number 70.

    By the way, the dawn pictures are great. At least all of us will always have the opportunity to see more like those irrespective of moving the perception of time or otherwise.

  • Comment number 71.

    England can do what it likes with the clock changes - I really don't care about them. Hoever Scotland must keep changing the clocks as we have done. This allows our schoolchildren to go to school when it's light. Any change as suggested by the English would result in Scottish schoolchildren going to school in the dark with all the associated problems that would bring.

  • Comment number 72.

    Mucking about with the clocks is not going to change the longitude or latitude of the country - winter is still going to be damp and cold throughout the country so an extra hour of light in the evening is hardly going to make those who never wanted to go exercise in the first place get off the couch after work and the ones that want to do something will organise somewhere indoors to do their thing.

    Also there is talk about us syncronising with Europe and it being good for out economy and how scottish and northern school children should go to school later. I thought this was a world that is more excepting of flexible hours - if a business is desperate to work with European working hours then they don't debate about it, they sort their employees so those working hours are covered.

    I know businesses in china do it work hours to suit oversees business, call centres in India do it why can't we without changing the nation as a whole?




  • Comment number 73.

    Aah .. yesh .. the support of this question ... of BST by the Mayor of London ... ahhh.

    Publicity of one's political .... aspirations - are paramount! It is no SURPRISE that the ....rr mayor is concerrrrn by his political ambitions!
    --------
    So, my feeble attempt at written interpretation of Winston Churchill's most famous delivery of his views is used heavily by Boris et al.

    Well, fair enough Boris. My complaint is that HYS questions have degeneratated in favour of your agenda and not David Cameron's agenda of kicking the EU overspend AND overcharging the UK right into the EU balls or EU testicles?

  • Comment number 74.

    In summer, most Brits are asleep for the first three hours of daylight - what a waste of British Summer Time!
    During the 1980's, for three consecutive years, I had a summer locum job in a Swedish hospital. We started operating at 07:00 and knocked-off at 15:00, with breaks and meals taken in the theatre complex. Important bits of infrastructure, like the hospital crèche, were organised accordingly.
    After work, we'd relax by sailing, swimming, playing mixed volleyball or having a barbecue by the fjord, for the remaining seven hours of daylight. It was a great way of life. Coming home to our nine-to-five working day was really dull.
    Don't change the clock: change the hours of work.

  • Comment number 75.

    No. Messing about with what you call the time won't add a single second of daylight to the day. People will just change their patterns anyway and gradually just get up an hour later and we will be back to square one with a time system that shows no relation to real time.

  • Comment number 76.

    A single hour is not long enought either way to make any difference. Daylight hours will be the same length what ever happens.

  • Comment number 77.

    There seem to be some very bizarre arguments going on here.

    1. No, we shouldn't keep permanent BST. For us to establish GMT, right there with its brass line in the ground, for every other area, depending on longitude, to have its time calibrated from that, and then for us to abandon it, seems not just strange, but perverse.

    2. I, too, don't see what difference it makes, which end of the day the extra hour's daylight comes. Why should driving home in the dark be any harder than driving to work in the dark? It's still a journey, and still being driven. I don't at all understand the logic of that.

    3. As regards exercise, if the extra hour comes in the morning, why can't non-couch-potatoes exercise in the morning? Or do they prefer to while away the early hour's daylight in bed anyway? Plenty of people do jog first thing; I'm quite sure that gymnasia would be prepared to open early and offer showers and bargains on coffee and croissants (or muesli!) to boot, for those dropping in on their way to work.

    4. The business argument, as many have pointed out, won't run. People work the hours they're asked to work, full stop. If they get in earlier, but get to leave an hour earlier, great!

    5. So far as Scottish cows are concerned, they themselves might not mind one way or the other; but dark mornings could well be more of a problem for Scottish farmers than they are for commuters further south, travelling often on brightly-lit roads into centrally-heated offices. Considering the hours farmers do turn out for the welfare of their animals, however - particularly at lambing-time, for example - this is probably immaterial too.

    6. Pamela Lear writes: 'In the summer, it currently seems rather a waste for dawn to come so early, but the light in the evenings not to have much intensity. Advancing the UK time would therefore also make the evening light more useful.' I don't understand this. We are currently in the throes of BST - until early Sunday morning, in fact - so if we stick permanently with BST, the dawn will still come so early! That seems to be a non-point.

    7. Wilberfalse writes: 'If you wish to have more daylight at the end of the working day then start work earlier and finish earlier, DO NOT mess about with the clocks. Noon should mean what the clock indicates, that is to say, as close to true midday as is feasible. Astronomers have gone to a great deal of trouble to provide a system of time keeping whereby variable sidereal events may best be linked to civil time pieces.' I'm with him - also on the dangers in northern latitudes of travelling anywhere in greater fog, frost or ice, and early-morning drowsiness. The weather tends to be much less severe further south (my brother lives in Inverness: he'll tell you! - just as Stu C has) and there's no good reason for the north continually to suffer for southern petulance.

    Well said, Stu C at 61 and Nushed at 62. I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you on this! The idea was kicked out in the 1960s - let's home commonsense prevails over narrow Home Counties interests again.

  • Comment number 78.

    The United Kingdom lies on the Greenwich Meridian, so why would we not go back to GMT, GMT is the normal time which every other time zone stems from so being on GMT would be the sensible choice for the UK to stay on or go back to, BST is when we go out of sink with the rest of the world, and GMT is when we get back in sink with the rest of the world.

  • Comment number 79.

    At 4:35pm on 29 Oct 2010, anotherfakename wrote:
    Actually I heard a Scottish politician on radio bemoaning the 'forces of darkness' who want to make sure that sunrise doesn't occur until after the children have gone to school. I've just done a quick check on the web, thats already the case in Stornoway during the winter anyway (sunrise 9:15), the sunset is currently 3:37. With the proposal sun rise will not be until 10:15 - but then the kids will be in class anyway, but sunset will not be until 4:37 giving them a safer trip home and a chance to see the sun after school.

    Anyway, somehow Finland manages with even less sun.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________
    You can believe it. 24 hours of total darkness for several weeks in the northern part of the country. Even where I live, we face only some three hours of not quite light days, and that's only when the sun clears the horizon completely. A good time to catch up on reading.

  • Comment number 80.

    Having lived in this country for 47 years, I do not understand the need to keep putting clocks backwards and forwards. As I understand it, we are about to go back to GMT form BST. This is fine but why put the clocks forward in summer? I can't get to sleep when it's daylight at 10 or 11pm in summer and it makes no difference to me whether it's dark at 4 or 5pm in winter. There were reasons in the past why these changes took place and I fail to accept that these reasons are still valid today. I'm told I will gain an hour of sleep this weekend. This isn't true. I will spend at least an hour changing the clock on the car, two motorcycles, the DVD recoreder, the VHS recorder, the microwave, the oven, my watch, the radio alarms, the hi-fi, the central heating system and all the clocks in the house. It's a bloody joke. For God's sake, will someone get this country into the modern age and stop keep messing around with the clocks twice a year!!!!!

  • Comment number 81.

    To stay on Summer Time? That's an intriguing idea. I came from China and often visit a city near Korea. Its name is Dalian—my parents’ hometown.
    Winter in this city made an somber impression of slate-gray sky and bitter cold on me. In the last trip there, my flight arrived at 4:30 p.m., and it's already dark. For my staying period, I was keeping adjusting to its time: try to complete daily tasks before 4 or 5 p.m., otherwise you would see a desolate street—only roaring winds or snowstorms left.
    If we could dial an hour earlier in that place, that would be better for the routine. For one thing, it's unconceivable to have a walk on the DARK street at just 4 p.m., especially, in that city with relatively sparse population and partially lighting. For another, now that we've already had to get up early in the morning for commuting, why not seemingly one hour earlier? That way we could at least enjoy longer daytime, going shopping, having dinner outside, or other activities we want to go to now and then. That would make for a more lively city. Sure it boosts the economy simultaneously, for according to the locals, the city is being suffering the lack of momentum of improvement. My perspective is the residents there inherently slack off much more than people from other parts of the nation. I didn't find an understanding until I stayed there for two month in the wintertime. It's the weather for people having good reason to stay inside. No one dares to challenge the fierce winds and formidable winter temperatures outside at the dark. My cousin is among them. He met me only once during my visit and when he apologized for his absence, I told him I could understand it all. Under such a gloomy circumstance, everyone feels tired and less sociable. I was told that local people seldom carry on decorations on their houses during winter. They prefer to wait until next spring. And self-service markets have closed before 8:00 p.m. because there's no need to stay open with few customers at night. The situation has progressed compared to it was ten years ago. At that time, there were few supermarkets and most citizens relied on stores owned by the government, and they were shut down at 5:30 p.m.—the exact time when you were able to get out of a crowded bus from the workplace, stopping nearby your home. That either depended on whether or not you had the hap without a congestion during rush hour along the way. No matter what, that schedule means you failed to buy anything from stores for dinner in time.
    In a nutshell, a Winter Time is going to add to the vigor of the city to great extent. And if it were to come true, I suspect I wouldn't see a scene of crowds at night only through the steaming restaurants’ windows, but rather more in shopping districts or other public places.

  • Comment number 82.

    I've just heard that in attempt to preserve daylight hours, Scotland has decided to ditch BST and GMT and adopt SMT. Scottish Mean Time!

  • Comment number 83.

    Thanks to alphaterraprophetess, I have just noticed a basic misunderstanding in this debate. The original article said:

    'Dr Hillman, senior fellow emeritus at PSI, is concerned by surveys that show a trend towards declining fitness and predictions that more than half the population will be clinically obese by 2050.

    He proposes not putting the clocks back in October in one year, but still putting clocks forward in the subsequent spring.

    This would put the UK one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time in the winter and two hours ahead in summer, known as Single/Double Summer Time, adopting the same time as France, Germany and Spain.'

    So Dr Hillman's proposal - surely the one we should be debating, and on which my initial response was based - is a full change to European time, including changes for summer and winter.

    But I have just noticed that at the top of this 'Have your Say' page the BBC has mis-quoted Dr Hillman as proposing that we keep British Summer Time throughout the year.

    Would the BBC care to comment, please?

  • Comment number 84.

    Dr Hillman, unless you have the super power to slow down the revolution of our planet, we cannot have EXTRA daylight, as you state, no matter WHAT we do with our clocks. All we can do is RE-ARRANGE said daylight. WE either have dark mornings or dark evenings, what we cannot have is any extra dayligh. The number or hours and minutes is fixed by the laws governing the rotation of our planet and the time sytem we have adopted, which gives us a day of 24 hours (and a bit.)IF you want people exercising, they can just as easily do it if it's light in the morning as if it's light in the evening. If it gets light at 9 a.m instead of 8 then we need the lights on longer in the morning by an hour, but we save that hour in the evening. If we put the clocks back we only need the lights on till 8 a.m but they have to go on an hour earlier in the evening. But the tOTAL hours of daylight are identical. So I am at a loss to see how we can save electricity or anything else. You as a scientist should know we CANNOT have any EXTRA. That is giving people false information, and is driving me crazy !!

  • Comment number 85.

    Why do we not just keep our proper time, GMT, all year. If one group of people do not like it let them just get out of bed earlier or later whichever way they want to adjust their day. Altering the clocks makes no difference to the number of daylight hours available. If the Scots want to open their schools at 8, 9 or 10 each morning let them. The same applies to every other group complaining, get on with it you cannot make more daylight hours. joe_average, comment no.82, has it right changing the clocks is just a pain and waste of time.

  • Comment number 86.

    Actualy we go by UTC time ( co-ordinated universal time)we domt use GMT any more, so this whole debate is a waste of time (utc time)

  • Comment number 87.

    #63. Magi Tatcher wrote:
    41. At 4:17pm on 29 Oct 2010, Peter_Sym wrote:

    A man with a watch THINKS he knows what the time is.

    Not if he has a radio controlled atomic watch.

    ==========

    A man with a radio controlled atomic watch still THINKS he knows what the time is…..



  • Comment number 88.

    GMT should be fixed the whole year. Total waste of time keep changing.

  • Comment number 89.

    Richie79 wrote:

    "As others have pointed out, if this means the abolition of GMT it has implications not only for the UK but for the rest of the world, which currently uses it as a benchmark. "

    GMT would still exist as the standard. Countries would still be + or - GMT. We would remain at +1 all year instead of half the year returning to GMT. Other countries along the Greenwich Meridian will continue at GMT, but with seasonal adjustments as appropriate.

    Anyway why are we getting sentimental about this label? Britannia doesn't rule the waves any longer and the sun has set on the empire. Get over it.

  • Comment number 90.

    There seems to be a consistent perception throughout this thread that only people in Scotland would find a later sunrise difficult to cope with. Well, I live right on the South Coast, and I'm 100% in favour of continuing to put the clocks back in the autumn to keep the earlier sunrise. From a purely personal point of view, I'd actually prefer it to get light an hour earlier still. I don't know who all these people are who are able to sleep away the morning hours - surely most of us have to get up at least by 7 if not an hour or so earlier, to deal with family commitments or work?

  • Comment number 91.

    I am amused by those who believe we run on universal time. This debate is actually determined by our inconvenient time to orbit around the Sun, and the tilt of the Earth without which we would not have seasons or changing lengths of daylight. Do people get irritated by having an extra day every four years; should we add time on to each and every day to stop February 29th happening once in four?

    This debate is farcical. Dark mornings, light until just before four pm in late autumn, early winter; such a difficult thing to negotiate isn't it?

    I am surprised someone hasn't come up with the idea of correcting the Earth's tilt - it's the kind of loopy idea leaving number ten Downing Street every day ....

  • Comment number 92.

    The debate is not farcical. For too long we have been putting clocks backwards and forwards.
    I am told the clocks went backwards because of two reasons. To this day, I do not know if either is true:-

    1) It was to allow farm workers to make use of the light mornings during the second world war to produce crops.

    2)It was to allow school children an extra hour of light in the mornings to make travelling to school safer.

    Now, I'm not sure which (if either) is true but based on those two points, it would seem clear that the second world war is over and most school children travel in a 4x4 to school.

    So which ever option we choose there is absolutely no need to keep going forward and backwards with the clocks. Pick one and stick with it!

  • Comment number 93.

    Another HYS we've had before.

    I prefer the clocks going back (used to hate going to school in pitch darkness when we stopped altering them for a while).

    But it's all been said before.

    Come on BBC, there's so much going on, what are you doing? This isn't what recycling is supposed to be about.

  • Comment number 94.

    #89 windblown asks why we are getting sentimental.

    It doesn't matter. The meridian is still at Greenwich and Julian time will show 2255500.0 when the Sun appears to cross it (at twelve noon approximately) tomorrow.

    #92 joe-average

    Summer time hasn't been changed very often. It was first introduced during WW1 and variations occured in WW2 and after too. There is a lot of myth surrounding the reasons why it is deemed necessary to utilise it, and the Scottish problem and schools are simply variations on the same basic themes. During war years it may be important to keep the same clock hours as the enemy if possible, but the background seems quite vague on the subject. May be someone else has some useful information on the subject.

  • Comment number 95.

    #94 Gremlins got at my typing again; the Julian time will be 2455500.0 at Noon tomorrow.

  • Comment number 96.

    Keep GMT all year round. No matter how much we change the clocks there will always be the same amount of daylight in a day and I would prefer the time on the clock to be as near as possible to the real time. I don't think that keeping BST throughout the winter will encourage a huge increase in outdoors exercise during that time and a corresponding plunge in the level of obesity, mainly because the weather would usually be either wet or freezing cold.
    I also don't want to spend summer pretending that it's 2 hours, or more, later than it really is. Since Greenwich is in the east, most of the country is really slightly behind GMT not ahead of it.

  • Comment number 97.

    Not bothered really...

    I just hate waking up when it's dark and returning home when it's... er... yeah....!

  • Comment number 98.

    Of course we should be on what is known as summertime in the winter and better than that we should be on double summertime in the summer. Imagine all those lovely long warm summer evenings, the savings that could be made on electricity costs. It worked fine in WWII, the trouble is that there are so many old stick in the muds around and if Scotland object they have their own government let them choose their own time zone, somewhere about the 12th century I should imagine.

  • Comment number 99.

    since scotland is now due to be independent according to salmon we have no reason to change it from GMT

  • Comment number 100.

    Noon should be defined as when the Sun is highest in the sky. It's the scientific definition, and it's only logical to ditch BST altogether.

 

Page 1 of 6

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.