Is it time for a change in time? That is what the good folk of Jersey CI will be voting on tomorrow (Wednesday 15th). They are having a referendum (that’s like the people having their say, Gordon) on whether to move their clocks forward by one hour to Central European Time. That would put Jersey one hour ahead of the UK throughout the year. Supporters of the plan say it would improve the quality of life in Jersey. The main objection of opponents is that it would put them out of sync. with the UK.
I would certainly vote for that change here in the UK. It would mean that in winter we are on GMT + 1 hour and in summer on GMT + 2hours. During the long summer evenings the sun would set about 10.20pm. It would rise about 5am instead of 4am so effectively we’d be getting an extra hour of daylight during our waking hours. If you’ve ever been in France during the summer you will know how pleasant it is to have this extra hour of daylight.
But what about winter you ask? Well during the month of shortest daylight – December – the sun wouldn’t rise until about 9am and would set about 5pm. Some people argue against the change because for a few weeks in the year English school children would be going to school in twilight conditions. I suppose schools and offices could move their start times by 15minutes from November to January.
However there would be savings made on power usage in the evening – so this would be a green adjustment – and there would be fewer road accidents. Apparently, and I don’t remember this, the UK experimented with the extra hour between 1968 and 1971 and there was a fall in the number of people killed in road accidents.
So what’s to stop us changing? The Scottish don’t like it because they would suffer from dark winter mornings more than the English due to their northern latitude. They wouldn’t see any winter daylight until well after 9am. Also, I understand that farmers don’t like the idea, again because of the darker mornings but I would have thought they would have more flexibility over their working hours anyway.
I think this is a debate worth having. I look forward to the result of the Jersey referendum with interest. And courtesy of my blog you can also have your own mini-referendum : I would welcome your comments on this subject.
UPDATE 8.20AM 16TH OCTOBER : We are about 1,058 comments short of a statistically valid sample.