Daylight saving begins in the UK at 1am on Sunday 29th March meaning we lose an hour, but why does this happen?
The clocks going forward signals the start of British Summer Time (BST); this is due to a campaign at the start of the 20th Century to change the clocks during the summer months. It was argued that by doing this is would mean people living in the northern hemisphere could make more use of the earlier daylight hours.
Other benefits of this are –
- making use of natural daylight in turn reduces energy consumption, which has both financial and environmental benefits
- less reliance on artificial lighting
- having longer hours in order to support leisure and tourism
- encouraging people to exercise more outdoors
- reducing road accidents
- longer evenings which again is a motivator in getting people out and about whether it be exercising or helping the economy by buying things out and about in the shops, going for meals out etc.
- an extra hour in the day when the clocks go back again in the autumn!
There have also been arguments regarding the disadvantages of daylight saving, concerns being mentioned include –
- safety issues around darker mornings
- there are numerous arguments that the changing of the clocks does not actually save any energy consumption, particularly in this technological age where people are constantly using laptops, tablets and TV’s anyway.
- farmers have spoken out about the issues about the effect of changing routines for livestock.
- the need for changing the clocks is deemed pointless due to the fact that the majority of us now live in well lit homes, shops and offices, so there is little benefit to daylight savings
- impact on sleeping patterns, which can in turn result in increased workplace injuries and more lost work days
And then there’s all the confusion about which of your clocks actaully need changing! Generally, devices with internet connection, such as smart phones, should automatically update themselves. However, watches, clocks in cars and kitchens, for example, won’t change automatically so make sure you remember to do these yourself!
The European Parliament has voted to end the changing of clocks between winter and summer time as member states will decide their own time zone. This final change will take place in 2021. As the UK is leaving the European Union, we will not have to make this change, however we could still opt to. What do you think? Do you think we should continue to change the clocks? Will you miss your extra hour?