On Monday I attended the annual lunch of the Association of Amusement
Parks at the House of Commons. This is an opportunity for this important
part of our tourism industry to make their pitch to MPs and both the
Tourism Minister and the Conservative Shadow Minister were there.
Shepway was well represented as indeed it should be. Port Lympne is only
one of the many attractions we have which contribute to the local
One of the main issues discussed was Daylight Saving Time.
The proposal for the change which is most often advances is for Single/
Double Summertime. Under this proposal we would be 1 hour ahead of
Greenwich Mean Time in winter and 2 hours ahead in summer. This would
mean darker mornings and lighter evenings and is strongly supported by
the tourism industry.
The main argument in favour of the change, however, is based on safety.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has long argued that a
change of this kind would save lives.
The evidence for this is based on a trial which took place between 1968
and 1971 though the basis of that trial was that we remained one hour
ahead of GMT all year.
This change led to an increase in casualties in the morning but a
substantially greater decrease in the evenings with a total of around
2,500 fewer people killed and seriously injured during the first two
winters of the experiment. ROSPA have called for another trial and the
traditional opposition of farmers, especially in the north of Scotland,
seems to have weakened.
One other advantage of the Single/Double Summertime proposal would be to
harmonise our time with most European countries, something which a large
number of industrial and commercial groups see as a significant
It is obviously too late for a change, or even a trial, to be decided on
in the current Parliament. But it is something that is likely to be
considered quite early in the new Parliament. It will be a very