Yeo's time zone bill backed by RoSPA
A BILL being promoted by one of the region's MPs to bring British time in line with continental Europe has received the unqualified support of a Britain's leading campaign group against accidents.
By Graham Dines
A BILL being promoted by one of the region's MPs to bring British time in line with continental Europe has received the unqualified support of a leading campaign group against accidents.
Suffolk South Tory MP Tim Yeo wants to switch clocks to two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time in summer and an hour ahead in winter. Currently, the UK uses GMT in the winter and GMT plus an hour in summer.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents yesterday urged the public to write to their MPs to support Mr Yeo's Bill, which is due to be debated in the Commons on January 26.
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Kevin Clinton, RoSPA Head of Road Safety, said: “We have led a long campaign to bring lighter evenings to Britain because the system would save about 100 lives and prevent 300 serious injuries annually.
“Mr Yeo's Bill is the opportunity to implement changes which will protect our most vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, children and the elderly who are more at risk during dark evenings.
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“Every autumn when the clocks go back we see an increase in road deaths and injuries and these proposals could stop that from happening.”
If Mr Yeo's Bill is to stand any chance of becoming law, it will almost certainly need the backing of the Government, which has yet to decide what stand to take. If ministers oppose the legislation, then backbench MPs from across the political divide will need to turn up in strength and vote it through the Commons.
Mr Clinton said: “It is vital that people contact their MPs expressing their support and urging them to be at the vote so that we can be sure the Bill moves to the next stage.
“Opinion polls have consistently shown widespread public backing for the idea and the Government accepts the road safety case. But there are also benefits for health, business and the environment to be reaped from being one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time in the winter and two hours ahead in the summer.”
RoSPA says other advantages of a switch in time include increased opportunities for outdoor activity, which would promote fitness and health and support the Department of Health's work to reduce childhood obesity, a reduction in energy costs, make British industry more competitive, and help to encourage tourism.