Charity renews calls for clocks to be changed year-round to make roads and communities safer

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As the clocks go for forward the charity Brake is renewing its calls for government to make it ‘Lighter Later’ by putting the clocks forward by an hour year-round. This would mean fewer daylight hours ‘wasted’ in the early mornings when most people are asleep. The lighter evenings would mean reduced danger to pedestrians and cyclists in the dark afternoons and evenings through the winter months. (See below for more on the benefits.)

The Lighter Later campaign has been gathering momentum over the past year, with 26,300 people having written to their MP in support. In January, a Daylight Saving Bill, which would have compelled the government to review and act upon the evidence on the impact of changing the clocks, ran out of time, despite widespread support from MPs.

Brake is calling on more members of the public to sign up in support of the campaign at lighterlater.org, to keep pressure on the government to act.

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said:“Brake is urging the government to put the clocks forward by an hour throughout the year, to make the evenings lighter and our communities safer, happier places. We waste too much precious daylight when most of us are asleep. Changing the clocks would mean it stays lighter later in the day, so we have more daylight when most people are awake. The effect would be safer roads in the afternoons and evenings, when many are walking and cycling home from school or work and need to be seen by drivers to prevent devastating road casualties. The change would also promote healthier lifestyles and stronger communities as it would encourage more people to get out and about on foot and bicycle.”

Appeal for Bright Days As the clocks go forward Brake and partner Autoglass® are also encouraging communities to help raise awareness about pedestrian and cyclist safety through running a Bright Day. The initiative promotes the importance of drivers looking out for people on foot and bicycle, and raises vital funds for Brake’s work campaigning for safer roads and caring for families devastated by road death and injury. Schools, organisations and community groups can sign up at brake.org.uk/brightday.

More on the Lighter Later campaign Brake is in a coalition of organisations campaigning for the clocks to go forward for an hour year round, making it GMT+2 in summer and GMT+1 in winter. This simple change would make our evenings lighter and give us more daylight during waking hours. It’s estimated this would result in 80 fewer deaths and hundreds fewer serious injuries each year [1], preventing unnecessary suffering and saving the NHS £138million annually [2].

It would also cut 447,000 tonnes of CO2 pollution [3], and save us all on our bills, because we would have to put our lights on less. Not to mention a big boost to leisure, tourism, and healthy life-styles because we get a bit more daylight to play with. Find out more at lighterlater.org.

In January 2012, the Lighter Later Bill ran out of time on the House floor, meaning MPs couldn’t vote to put it through to its third reading, despite over 140 MPs staying to vote. There is a strong chance another MP will put forward a Bill in the next parliamentary session beginning in May 2012. In the meantime, Brake is urging people to write to their MP to ask them to support lighter evenings.

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