Time to Move Clocks Forward Permanently say Business Groups

The Daylight Savings Bill - Clocks must go forward permanentlyGovernment plans to move UK clocks permanently forward by one hour so they are in sync with central Europe have been welcomed by business groups.

The Daylight Savings Bill is due to go before the House of Commons for further scrutiny this month, but the Government has already indicated it would back a three-year trial of the new time zone. A nationwide trial is likely to assess costs and gauge how the change would affect different parts of the UK before any changes are implemented.

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Colin Stanbridge said that the business benefits to changing the clocks permanently to join central European time, meaning evenings would be lighter for longer, would be “numerous”.

“Businesses would be able to make savings on heating and lighting costs, while increased daylight hours would boost productivity and help employees improve their work-life balance by giving them more leisure opportunities before dark.”

The Lighter Later campaign which also advocates the move, said the change would extend trading hours with Europe and the Far East, creating economic benefits of up to £3.5 billion a year for UK firms.

Business minister Edward Davey said that the Government was keen to secure consensus from Wales and Scotland before any changes were made. Opponents of the change have argued that darker mornings would affect farmers and risk children’s safety when travelling to school, particularly in Scotland.

“It’s only right that we at least look at what the potential economic and social benefits of any change might be. Lower road deaths, reduced carbon dioxide emissions and improved health have all been argued over the years as possible benefits.”

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said there had been a “groundswell of support” from business groups keen to see the clocks changed. 

“The Government is prepared to back it. But it will be a lengthy process to change things and it’s still early days.”

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