East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has joined renewed calls to abandon the practice of plunging the nation into darkness in winter.
Sir Greg is one of the sponsors of a new cross party Parliamentary motion calling on the Government to instigate a three year trial of ‘single / double’ summertime. Sir Greg said, “For several months, every year many millions of people will be less happy than they could be as Britain is plunged into darkness by the early afternoon”
Sir Greg has been campaigning for the time zone change for a number of years. He says that it will “greatly help tourism in East Yorkshire and also reduce accidents”.
Sir Greg’s calls have been backed by the Football Association, the England and Wales Cricket Board, and the Lawn Tennis Association and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Sir Greg says: “In the morning, most road journeys are predictable – people are driving to work or taking children to school. Most people are also fresh and alert at the beginning of the day and if for a couple of months a year, the first journey of the day was partly in darkness, it would still be safer than the present situation where for over three months of the year, afternoon and early evening journeys are carried out in darkness”.
He adds: “Journeys undertaken at the end of the day are less predictable – on the way back from school, parents sometimes go shopping, or on the way home from work, some people decide to go to a restaurant or go and visit friends”.
The text of the motion reads: “That this House notes the significant financial, environmental, public health and quality of life benefits that could accrue by advancing the clocks to GMT+1 in winter and GMT+2 in summer; further notes in particular the increased trade in the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors estimated at over three billion and 80,000 new jobs, the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from reduced heat and light by aligning the clocks more closely to people’s lifestyles and the significant health gains from reduced levels of seasonal affective disorder and increased levels of sports participation and physical activity; further notes the likely reduction in death and injury from fewer road accidents and expected reductions in crime and the fear of crime; and therefore calls on the Government to instigate a three year trial of single/double summer time.”