The campaign to put Britain’s clocks forward an hour and bring us in line with our European neighbours has won the backing of a West Midlands MP.
Lorely Burt (Lib Dem Solihull) is supporting calls move the clocks forward so the sun rises an hour later in the morning and sets an hour later in the evening.
The long-running debate about changing Britain’s time system will come to a head this week when the Government publishes a tourism strategy paper formally setting out proposals for reform.
Under “double summertime”, the UK would switch the clocks forward an hour from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in the winter and then put them a further hour forward in the summer. It would mean the sun appearing to rise an hour later than currently, but remaining an hour longer in the evenings.
Supporters claim a change could add millions to Britain’s earnings from tourism and save thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions as people turn their lights on later.
But opponents say it would make life more difficult for early-rising farmers, increase the number of road accidents and make it more dangerous for children travelling to school.
Sources at the Department for Culture stressed that any change would be dependent on the agreement of devolved authorities, including in Scotland where many are opposed to a move which would make their mornings darker.
Ms Burt said: “It is a great shame that we have been stuck with the same system despite the fact that year after year, MPs from all parties have tried to make a change.
“It seems logical to me. There would be an extra hour of daylight in the late afternoon or evening, allowing people to spend more time outside and take part in sport or other activities.”
But Birmingham MP Steve McCabe (Lab Selly Oak) expressed doubts, saying: “There has been no real case made for change.
“This Government is developing a tendency to announce grand reforms without any justification, and they’ll be trying to change the days of the week next.”
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “We will very shortly be publishing a policy paper with ideas to boost the UK’s tourism industry, currently our third-largest export earner.
“This includes looking at the arguments for and against moving the clocks forward an extra hour in both winter and summer. However any such change – or trial of it – could only ever be made if it had the support of all parts of the UK.”