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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 October 2005, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK
Safety appeal over clock change
Clock
Clocks go back an hour in the early hours of Sunday
Fewer people would be killed or injured on UK roads if the system of changing the clocks in spring and autumn was altered, safety campaigners claim.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) wants to keep British Summer Time in winter and adopt "double summertime" between March and October.

Clocks go back at 0200BST on Sunday, marking the official end of summer.

But the Shugborough estate, Staffs, will keep BST in protest at the darker evenings brought on by the time change.

Casualty rates

RoSPA say these darker evenings, combined with worsening weather conditions, cause casualty rates to increase.

They say up to 450 people a year could be saved from death or serious injury and have called for a three-year trial of their proposals.

The organisation claims the different system would mean lighter evenings all-year round and lower casualty rates.

The system means clocks would no longer revert to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in October, but stay one hour ahead until March when another hour would be added, and go back an hour the following October.

Although the mornings would be darker, the changes would give an extra hour of evening daylight throughout the year.

Leisure industries would be aided, with more people, especially women, going out on brighter evenings
Ken Livingstone, London mayor

Kevin Clinton, the head of road safety at the RoSPA, said: "Studies show that vulnerable road users such as children and the elderly are more at risk during dark evenings than in the morning."

However, it is not a view shared by Scottish National Party (SNP) education spokeswoman Fiona Hyslop, who claimed any change in policy would put more Scottish children at risk.

She tabled a motion at Holyrood on Friday backing the current Daylight Saving Time system.

Ms Hyslop said: "Several studies have shown that while there may be a decrease in the number of accidents south of the border, the reverse is the case in Scotland where additional casualties are likely to be children on their way to school."

London Mayor Ken Livingstone called for the system of putting the clocks back to be ended to help boost the tourism industry, as well as saving lives.

Public attention

He said: "The tourism season would be extended, with some estimates suggesting a boost worth up to 1bn a year.

"Leisure industries would be aided, with more people, especially women, going out on brighter evenings."

HAVE YOUR SAY
I cherish my extra hour in bed
Anthony Harrison, Sheffield, UK

In Staffordshire, visitors to the Shugborough estate - the ancestral home to the 5th Earl of Lichfield - will find it is sticking to British Summer Time (BST) instead of reverting to GMT.

It is part of a campaign with the Chamber of Commerce in Staffordshire to express the tourism industry's frustration at darker evenings brought on by the time change.

Richard Kemp, general manager of Shugborough, admits it is only a token gesture, but wanted to bring the issue to public attention.

"The evenings get so dark that people don't come any distance to visit a place that has only got so many hours of daylight," he told Radio 4's Today programme .

"We firmly believe it [a change] would make a huge difference to the way the tourist industry operates in this country."




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