On Monday afternoon I attended a conference run by the 10:10 Lighter Later Campaign and supported by PACTS (the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety). This group aims to change British clocks to GMT+1 in the winter, and GMT+2 in the summer to bring us in line with most other central European countries. They argue that the change would bring about many social, environmental, economic and health benefits. PACTS have also calculated that this change would reduce the number of people killed and injured on our roads during the winter months.
We all know that it starts to get dark depressingly early in winter, but this lack of sunlight can also have serious road safety implications. With the rush hour and evening school run taking place while the sun is setting, drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and school children find themselves travelling in increasingly hazardous conditions. There is evidence to show that when clocks are put back to GMT in October and the rush hour takes place when it’s darker, the number of people killed or seriously injured on the road increases.
In addition to the road safety benefits of the Lighter Later Campaign, they also argued that carbon emissions could be reduced, local economies could be improved and important issues such as obesity and climate change could be tackled more effectively. On top of this we would be getting more sunlight in the evenings so things wouldn’t seem quite so bad in those long winter months!
What do you think about this idea? Do you think it would improve road safety? Or would you rather see us stick to the clocks as they are?