BST = BS?

23:33

In case you didn't know, BST stands for British Summer Time. This is where we move our clocks forward an hour (losing an hour's sleep in the process) to give us lighter evenings. This is what I like to call the 'fake GMT'; as we are now entering what is officially known as 'GMT +1'. Catchy.

I write about this now because on the 29th March at 1am, we move our clocks forward an hour - or tonight in simple terms. But my question is this: do we really need this time swapping?

Our fake BST was made to help farmers during the war. If the clocks went forward an hour, they would have more light in the evening to do their thing. But we are above and beyond that time period now. So, should we stick to just one time?

Well, let's think about this carefully. If we stuck to BST, our summers would be amazing, and our winters won't get dark while you're preparing yourself some lunch. However, it does mean the sun rises later - that's a problem for winter.

We actually tested it out in the 1960s, to see if we could live on a constant BST. What occurred was a much higher accident rate in the mornings, due to the fact that the sun wasn't saying hi until 8:30 in the morning, and the street lamps weren't going off until about 9. But then surely we have dark evening rush hours? Well, yes we do. But studies have found we are much less alert in the morning rush, so a dark morning drive is a lot worse than a dark evening one.

So, a constant BST has been proven not to work. So, what about sticking to proper GMT? I like our winter time, because it sticks to UTC - the coordinated universal time. UTC is what every place in the world follows, and it's great that the UK is based right in the middle of the prime meridian time line. USA EST is five hours behind us, so their time is officially called UTC -5. Australia is UTC +10, and so on.

'Proper' GMT would mean our tried and tested winters would stay the same, but summer nights will be slightly shorter. So instead of summer closing in at around 10pm, expect it to be at 9. Quite clearly, there is nothing wrong with this, so why are we still following BST?

Cut the crap, UK official time people. I want my hour's sleep.

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