Double British Summertime (Central European Time) For Jersey?
We’ve reached the Summer Solstice or Longest Day, but still the demand for more evening light, energy savings and greater road safety yearlong won’t go away. Now it’s the turn of Senators in Jersey to try to align their community with Central European Time, which we Brits call Double Summer Time. And U.K. politicians too are thinking again. Given the many benefits of CET, let’s hope this time endorsement of the idea is compelling. Perhaps where Jersey leads the U.K. may follow? …
The Channel Islands, Guernsey and Jersey, enjoy a close connection with France, lying just off the French coast of Normandy. But whilst these very pleasant isles are not in the United Kingdom, they are geographically part of the British Isles and largely English-speaking, with a strong financial link to the U.K. economy.
It is very interesting, therefore, that Jersey is to hold a referendum on proposals to move the island to Central European Time.
This is so-called Daylight Saving with serious intent. Central European Time is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time in the Summer, and one hour ahead in Winter.
A long-contested idea
This proposal has been around for many years, in Jersey and Guernsey, and in mainland Britain.
The ideas behind the proposal have been well rehearsed, whether in the U.K. Parliament, repeatedly by RoSPA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, or indeed on this very website.
We know, as RoSPA constantly reminds us, that moving permanently to lighter evenings would overall reduce accidents, enhance health (more opportunities for exercise), help the economy -especially the evening economy, and tourism – and save energy.
In the U.K., more people support the change to Central European Time than do not; and even in Scotland, location of the darkest mornings and as it happens also the most SAD: seasonal affective disorder, at least 40% are still in favour of change. (Tim Yeo‘s proposed but failed Bill of 2007 accommodated demands that the U.K. devolved administrations, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, could opt out of CET anyway, should they so wish.)
But still the foot-dragging continues, with a feeling in some quarters that it’s ‘not British’ to adopt CET, or maybe that it’s an affront to our agrarian heritage.
But the new element in all this is that the Conservatives – often hostile to anything ‘European’ – are now reported to be thinking of adopting proposals for CET (i.e., ‘Abandon Greenwich Meantime’, in the words of The Telegraph) in their next manifesto.
A way to CET?
Well, I really hope this happens. It has been said that Jersey, whilst keen to move to CET, is worried about how things will work out if the U.K. doesn’t do the same.
If we can somehow forget odd ideas about Britishness and ‘Europe’, and instead concentrate on issues of environmental sustainability, health and safety, we will do much better.
One way to start would be to move swiftly to Double British Summertime in Summer, as part of the change to adopt Central European Time throughout the year.
Read more articles on BST: British Summer Time & ‘Daylight Saving’ (The Clocks Go Back & Forward)