So long Greenwich Mean Time?

Ken writes:

According to the Guardian the UK parliament is currently considering a proposal to move to European Standard Time which would involve putting the clocks forward an hour. I understand one TD wants to put a similar proposal forward in the Dáil for consideration. The change is supposed to have a number of economic and social benefits. For instance, the UK would save money on street lighting because they would have to light the streets for one hour less. It’s supposed to lead to fewer traffic accidents and to improved mental health because people don’t lose as much sun in wintertime.

But hang on a minute, isn’t there something wrong with Greenwich not being on Greenwich Mean Time? The prime meridian goes through London. It’s the reference point for all the other time zones. To me there’s almost something absurd about suggestion that the UK move onto a different time zone (the claimed benefits of such a change notwithstanding)

Another solution, which would seem to have exactly the same economic and social advantages, would be to define the standard working day as 8-4 instead of 9-5. Then people would have more light in their evening leisure time because that would start earlier. If the claimed benefits are worth having, I’d certainly prefer to see this alternative considered.


3 thoughts on “So long Greenwich Mean Time?

  1. Dot

    I find this a bit silly. There isn’t going to be any more light in the winter than there was before; it will just come at a different time. People’s body clocks are surely attuned to the light as well as to the clock, so while they’ll get more light in the evening they’ll have to struggle to get up in the dark. (What about all that stuff about how teenagers are supposed to have naturally late-set body clocks and thrive best on late to bed and late to rise? What about them?)

    In my opinion there’s a disadvantage for every proposed advantage and the governments of Britain and Ireland should just leave well alone. Though it would certainly be interesting if NI were in a different time zone to the Republic.

  2. Katimum

    And if we had a standard 8 to 4pm office day, I would have to get up at 4.30am! (I now it is only a notional time, but it sounds so early!)

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