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RoSPA urges Prime Minister Gordon Brown to think about clocks change

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, RoSPA, has today challenged UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to cut carbon emissions and save lives simultaneously time by putting the UK’s clocks forward. The safety charity has been calling for many years for the UK to move to a system known as Single Double Summer Time (SDST), which would put the clocks one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in winter and two hours ahead of GMT in summer.

Although the life-saving potential of such a move has been well documented, the fact that there would also be significant environmental benefits is perhaps less well known. According to a recent Cambridge University study, the move would cut carbon emissions by 450,000 tonnes each year. The energy saved would be equivalent to 85% of all the power generated by wind, wave and solar renewable energy in England and enough to power every household in Edinburgh.

“Should Gordon Brown be challenged by other world leaders in Copenhagen on the UK’s climate change plans, it would be interesting to know how he explains why our country has not taken a simple step toward meeting our emission targets by moving the clocks forward by one hour,” says Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA chief executive. “It would also bring numerous other social, economic and safety benefits at no cost. For example, the tourist industry would benefit from an injection of £2-3billion (US$3.2-US$4.8 billion) per annum, creating 18,000 jobs. At a time of economic recession, this would bring a major boost to the economy.

Left: RoSPA feels it is high time for Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government to practise what it preaches and take simple steps to protect the most vulnerable road users, belieiving a trial of SDST is needed as soon as possible

A report published by the Public Accounts Committee a few days before the clocks went back in October stated there was “substantial evidence” that fewer people would be killed and seriously injured on the roads if the clocks were put forward by one hour throughout the year. The report quoted figures also cited in two other publications – a Department for Transport consultation on the UK’s new road safety strategy, and a National Audit Office report called Improving Road Safety for Pedestrians and Cyclists in Great Britain.
 

December 15, 2009

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