Assistant Group Editor
3:00 PM 30th October 2021
An Extra Hour – Hooray!
Image by Katniss12 from Pixabay
The days are getting shorter, autumn is here and winter is on its way. Why all this gloom and doom.
This weekend we get an extra hour in bed as clocks go back to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and sunrise and sunset will be one hour earlier on Sunday, meaning it should be lighter in the morning. The bad news is that the nights are drawing in and that means dark and dreary nights. Dare I say that there are only 55 days until Christmas!
Forward or back?
Why do we do it?
People often say, "do the clocks go forward or back". An easy way to remember this is 'spring forward, fall back'.
The theory behind Daylight Saving Time or British Summer Time, which dates back to 1895 and is observed by most of the Western world, is that people are generally more productive if daylight hours are extended in the evenings.
British Summer Time was first implemented in 1916 after an Englishman called William Willett introduced the idea in 1907 and aside from a few deviations during wartime, it has remained ever since.
Image by Firmbee from Pixabay
We live in a world full of technology and gadgets that are connected to the internet and update automatically, so PCs, laptops, tablets and smart phones will change for us along with other digital appliances, so most of us will rely on technology to change our devices for us.
RoSPA - the accident prevention charity recommends cyclists wear brightly coloured clothing in daylight and reflective clothing or accessories when it's dark.
Pedestrians, including joggers, are being reminded that it is hard for motorists to see them if they are wearing dark clothing.
Photo by Coen van de Broek on Unsplash
Drivers are urged to look out for vulnerable road users and watch their speed when the clocks go back this weekend.
The AA is warning drivers to make sure their vehicles are winter ready. Now will be a good time to check tyres, lights and all round vision ready for the winter.
Would having British Summer Time throughout the whole year significantly reduce road casualties, particularly to pedestrians, cyclists and schoolchildren?
When children are making their way home from school just after 4pm on weekdays is the peak time for pedestrian casualties.
Research by the RAC Foundation has shown that road casualties increase by 19% in November after putting the clocks back and reduce by 11% in March when the clocks go forward.
RoSPA has been campaigning for the government to keep British Summer Time all year and to scrap the clock change which is deemed unnecessary. As we come out of the covid pandemic it would be good to have more daylight hours in which to socialise enabling us to tackle the loneliness and depression caused by the lockdown.
Photo by Curtis Cronn
In the UK the clocks go forward 1 hour at 1am on the last Sunday in March, and back 1 hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October.
The period when the clocks are 1 hour ahead is called British Summer Time (BST). There's more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings (sometimes called Daylight Saving Time).
When the clocks go back, the UK is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).