Summer Time and Double Summer Time

The Summer Time issue is beginning to be debated again. The United Kingdom moves its clocks forward on 27th March 2011. Until then most of us will experience very light mornings and dark evenings. Suddenly on 28th March the mornings will stay darker longer and the evenings will stay lighter longer.

At the moment summer time lasts seven months; I would welcome a change. We should move the clocks two hours forward on 27th March and one hour back on 30th October. I believe there to be environmental benefits in that most people wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night. There is a long period of evening when we have to light our homes and offices and that period would be reduced by applying double summer time.

I have never wholly understood the case against this. The argument runs, if I understand it correctly, that those living in the North of Scotland would have to wait until 10 a.m. in winter for daylight and this would make their lives harder, particularly the lives of farmers. I cannot see why; farmers and those living in the north adapt to the available daylight; the clock is an artificial device for dividing the time. Those who live in large conurbations – most of us in the United Kingdom- live by the clock as a convenient means of getting everyone to work, school and where they need to go at the same time or at convenient times.

Whatever the clock says there is nothing to prevent farmers or schools in the North of Scotland starting the days an hour later and nothing to prevent work places from doing this also. I agree that perhaps a million or so people might have to do this, but the benefits would be immense for the remaining sixty million people, who can enjoy longer summer evenings much more fruitfully than they can at present.

Some have mooted the idea of a separate Scottish time zone; I reject this idea. Life is already complicated enough without introducing yet another complexity.