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Call for UK's switch back to GMT to be scrapped

Written by: Staff

London, Oct 28: Putting the clocks back an hour in Britain in the early hours of Sunday will cost lives this winter and the practice should be scrapped, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents says.

British Summer Time (BST) ends this weekend and the country will revert to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), giving everyone an extra hour in bed overnight, but also meaning it will get darker earlier in the evenings.

RoSPA wants the clocks to stay one hour ahead of GMT in the winter and two hours ahead in the summer to avoid the 450 deaths and serious injuries it says the change causes.

The proposal would mean it would not go dark so early in the winter. Britain will be on GMT until the end of March when it will go back to BST.

The group said last year deaths and serious injuries among pedestrians rose to 738 in November from 609 in October, after the clocks had changed. This included a jump in the number of children being seriously hurt or killed to 186 from 165.

RoSPA has written to the Department of Trade and Industry, responsible for the way clocks are changed, calling for a change in policy for a three-year trial period.

''As well as protecting vulnerable road users such as children and the elderly, who are much more at risk during dark evenings, the extra evening daylight would increase opportunities for outdoor activity, helping to promote fitness and health and tackle our growing obesity problem,'' said Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA.

The argument about changing clock times is revisited every year.

Those who argue that summer time should be kept all year round are opposed by those who say such a system would disadvantage those in the north when dawn would be delayed until after the morning rush-hour.

The DTI has said it has no plans to modify the current practice of switching between BST and GMT.


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