Shifting the UK’s clocks to give one extra hour of daylight in the evening and one less in the morning would affect everyone. Research should help decide if cyclists would benefit...
Currently, many hours of daylight are ‘lost’ in the morning before most people get up. Aligning UK time with Central European Time (CET) would allow more light for leisure activities in the evening and reduce the need for lighting later in the day.
It is possible that a shift to CET would also result in fewer road crashes overall, although an increase on winter mornings may occur.
Note: This briefing is about proposals to shift the UK to Central European Time (CET), also known as ‘single/double summer time’. This would mean that in summer, clocks would be set to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) +2 hours and in winter to GMT+1 hour. The clocks would still go forward in spring and back in autumn, but there would be one extra hour of daylight in the evening, and one less in the morning.
According to LighterLater, the campaign to introduce daylight saving, its introduction would:
Save 100 lives each year and prevent hundreds of serious injuries by making the roads safer;
Help make people healthier and tackle obesity by giving people more time to exercise and play sport outside in the evening;
Save the NHS around £138 million a year through reducing road casualties.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy):
CTC supports the idea of researching the effect of shifting time zones to align with many of our European neighbours. Such changes may bring considerable economic and environmental benefits and contribute to improved road safety.
In addition to the possible disadvantages of the shift for certain areas of the country and certain professions, there may be specific road safety effects on cyclists, such as the potential for greater exposure to icy conditions on winter mornings. These must be taken into account in the research.
CTC’s final view on daylight saving will be subject to the findings of any official research.