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LETTER: Should time be called on clock change?

Readers' letters | Published:

As the country reverts to Greenwich Mean Time, I anticipate the annual chorus of demands to remain on Summer Time all year round.

Should we still change the clocks?

This year is the 50th anniversary of the start of the experiment with British Standard Time (1968-71), which did just that.

This morning, on the first full day of GMT, nature has served up a warning of why all-year Summer Time may not be so good an idea.

At 9.45am GMT – equivalent to 10.45 BST – my car, parked in the shade, remained lightly coated with frost.

The sun doesn’t only provide light. It also provides heat.

This is, I believe, one reason why the 1968 experiment failed to produce the expected road safety dividend.

Safety gains from lighter evenings were at least partly offset by the hazard of icy roads as people set off for work at what they thought was seven o’clock, but the sun insisted it was only 6am and it wasn’t getting up yet.

For people in western parts, like Devon, Cornwall and the whole of Scotland, the situation is aggravated by the setting of the time by a meridian that runs through Kent and East Anglia and then up the North Sea.

Summer Time means that people in Penzance and Skye pretend that it’s an hour later than the real time at Greenwich.

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I am aware that there are some countries which eschew Summer Time – for example some US states and Russia, which has enough on its plate with several time zones – but I’m not aware of any that observe it all year round.

Alan T Harrison

Walsall

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