The clocks have fallen back in the U.K. and it could be for the last time. Westminster is currently considering proposals to bring the clocks in line with European time to allow more light during the evenings. However, Scotland could opt out of the bill due to its darker mornings.
The last weekend of October is always the time for the clocks to fall back in the U.K. All parts of the country put their clocks at hour behind at 2am on the Sunday morning, so everyone gets an hour in bed. It allows for lighter mornings, but means the darker evenings by the time of Halloween. The clocks then spring forward during the last weekend in March, giving people the lighter evenings as the summer rolls in.
Petitions have been launched in Scotland to prevent the change to the clock system. Many worry, especially further in the north, that the darker mornings will be dangerous for the school children on a morning. However, those parts of the country can still suffer from dark afternoons at the time school children are walking home. Some parts of Scotland find they need to use artificial light by 3pm due to the clocks going back.
MPs in Westminster argue that British Summer Time should continue throughout the year. This is what happens when the clocks spring forward in March. Parliament officials argue that statistics show that there are more road accidents during the darker evenings, and not changing the clocks would mean fewer accidents would occur. It puts forward a very positive argument to make this the last time that the clocks would fall back in the U.K.
This is something that was attempted between 1968 and 1971. The clocks remained the hour ahead during the winter months, bringing it in-line with Central European Time. It was just an experiment and officials deemed that Scotland’s mornings were too dark to justify keeping the clocks forward that extra hour. This is why Scotland could legitimately refuse to accept the U.K. bill.
Russia has decided that this is the last time clocks will fall back. The country trialled permanent summer time for the last three years, but it was deemed too dark in some of the northern parts of the country. The clocks will go back this year, but it will not happen again. It brings the country closer to European time, as the capital is now only three hours ahead of U.K.’s Greenwich Mean Time.
The Russians deemed that the changing clocks were detrimental to the biorhythms of the people. It was also upsetting the cows due to the change.
New research in the U.K. has shown that the health of children could benefit from the clocks remaining an hour ahead during the winter months. Activity levels increased by 20 percent just from the extra hour of daylight in the afternoon and evenings. The study included 23,000 children across various countries including England, Australia, Portugal and Brazil, and found that Australian and European children benefited the most. It may be enough to convince a bill to be passed that will mean the clocks will fall back for the last time in the U.K.
By Alexandria Ingham