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When do the clocks go back?

It’s almost that time - don’t get caught out.

The lighter nights officially come to an end on Sunday October 30 when the clocks go back an hour, finally seeing off British Summer Time (BST).

Greenwich Mean Time kicks at 2am, when the clocks go back to 1am - meaning an extra hour in bed for us all.

The hour changes in spring and autumn in an attempt to make the most of the light, with the old phrase “spring forward, fall back” helping us remember which is which.

In the summer months, the hour changes mean there’s more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings (so its sometimes called Daylight Saving Time).

Why was the hour change introduced?

The idea was first introduced by prominent Edwardian builder William Willett, who suggested in 1907 that clocks should be changed at different times of the year to provide more daylight during waking hours.

His notion was that it would save on energy costs and offer people more time outdoors.

It was almost ten years later when the Government adopted his ideas in 1916 to help during the First World War, as politicians believed it would help reduce the demand for coal.

Why are clocks still changed each year?

The Government says the clocks are still moved forward in the summer as there is more sunlight in the evening and moved back in the autumn as there is more sunlight in the morning.

Supporters of this policy say it reduces energy use and is beneficial to workers, making them happier and more productive.

Some areas of the economy also benefit.

The golf industry claims the changes help generate an extra £246.5 million in sales and green fees, for example.

Why should we consider changing the system?

Other groups are against the hour change, however. Road safety campaigners Brake say the darker evenings are more dangerous, citing hundreds of extra crashes after the clocks go back.

Brake wants to see a Single/Double British Summertime (SDST) system, adjusting the clocks to GMT+1 in the winter, and GMT+2 in the summer.

This would result in darker mornings but an extra hour of evening daylight throughout the year.


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