NYT: pressure to change UK clocks (no change yet)

Peter Ilieve peter at aldie.co.uk
Fri Jan 21 12:42:26 UTC 2011

Eliot Lear wrote:

> New York Times reports Scottish opposition to a study to look at moving
> clocks forward an hour in the UK.
> http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/21/world/europe/21inverness.html

I haven't looked at that as it requires a login, but it's almost
certainly about Rebecca Harris' Daylight Saving Bill 2010-11,
a Private Members' Bill that is currently before the UK Parliament.
I meant to send something about this Bill before now, but never
got round to it.

Unlike previous such Bills that attempt to change the clocks, this
one goes about it indirectly. It would require the government to
conduct a cross-departmental study into the costs and benefits
of advancing the clocks by an hour. (The Bill mentions advancing
the clocks for all or part of the year, but we are bound by EC
Directive to continue having summer time so I can't see the part
year option happening.) The government would then set up a commission
to assess the results of the study. If the commission considers that
changing the clocks is a good idea the government would introduce
the change for a three year trial period. At the end of that period
the government would either make the change permanent or explain
why not.

The Bill has got past its second reading, which is further than
previous Bills have got. There does seem to be a larger head
of steam behind the idea of change than there has been in
previous years. My guess is that this Bill will still fail though,
like all the others.

The UK Parliament page about the Bill is at
The second reading debate and the Bill itself are linked from there.
There is also a Commons research paper behind the All Bill documents

Rebecca Harris asked several questions about this last November.
Search for "daylight" in the Hansard report at

(A sample:
Rebecca Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what
assessment his Department has made of the likely effect on the rate of
obesity of the introduction of daylight saving time throughout the year.

Anne Milton: None.)

The Policy Studies Institute produced a report last October about
the implications of such a clock change for Scotland. This was
reported at the time as saying opposition in Scotland isn't as
strong as it was. That report is available at

The PSI produced an earlier report about this in 1993, available at
That was an update of an earlier 1988 report which I haven't
found online.

They also have a press release about the October report and Rebecca
Harris' Bill at

		Peter Ilieve		peter at aldie.co.uk

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