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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

British Summer Time (BST) or Greenwich Daylight Saving Time (GDT) is the civil time during the summer months in the United Kingdom during which the clocks are advanced from Greenwich mean time (GMT) by one hour. It was first established by the Summer Time Act of 1916, was amended by subsequent acts and is now defined by the Summer Time Order of 2002 which laid down that it would be

...the period beginning at one o'clock, Greenwich mean time, in the morning of the last Sunday in March and ending at one o'clock, Greenwich mean time, in the morning of the last Sunday in October.
—The Summer Time Order 2002[1]


Double summer time

During World War II, Britain retained the hour's advance on GMT at the start of the winter of 1940 and continued to advance the clocks by an extra hour during the summers until July 1945. During these summers Britain was thus 2 hours ahead of GMT and operating on British Double Summer Time. The clocks were reverted to GMT at the end of the summer of 1945. In 1947 the clocks were advanced by one hour twice during the spring and put back twice during the autumn so that Britain was on BDST during the height of the summer.[2]


Occasional debate breaks out over the validity of BST, due to Britain's latitudinal length. In 2004, an interesting contribution was made by English MP Nigel Beard, who tabled a Private Member's Bill in the House of Commons proposing that England and Wales should be able to determine their own time independently of Scotland and Northern Ireland. If it had been passed into law, this bill would potentially have seen the United Kingdom with two different timezones for the first time since the abolition of Dublin Mean Time (25 minutes behind Greenwich) on 23 August 1916.

Some small movements exist for the abolition of BST entirely, favouring GMT all year round. They typically state a lack of practical gains from the adjustment of time, mooting instead that changing of school and/or business hours would effect the same change without disrupting a scientific standard.

Single/Double Summer Time

Safety campaigners, including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), have made recommendations that British Summer Time be maintained during the winter months, and that a "double summertime" be applied to the current British Summer Time period, putting the UK one hour ahead of GMT during winter, and two hours ahead during summer. This proposal is referred to as "Single/Double Summer Time" (SDST), and would effectively mean the UK adopting the same time zone as central European countries such as France, Germany, and Spain (Central European Time and Central European Summer Time).

RoSPA suggest this would reduce the number of accidents over this period as a result of the lighter evenings, as was demonstrated when the British Standard Time scheme was trialled between 27 October 1968 and 31 October 1971, when Britain remained on GMT+1 all year.[3] Analysis of accident data during the experiment indicated that while there had been an increase in casualties in the morning, there had been a substantially greater decrease in casualties in the evening, with a total of around 2,500 fewer people killed and seriously injured during the first two winters of the experiment. RoSPA have called for the two year trial to be repeated with modern evaluation methods. The proposal is opposed by farmers and other outdoor workers, and many residents of Scotland and Northern Ireland, as it would mean that, in northern Britain and Northern Ireland, the winter sunrise would not occur until 10:00 or even later.

In 2005, Lord Tanlaw introduced the Lighter Evenings (Experiment) Bill[4] into the House of Lords, which would advance winter and summer time by one hour for a three-year trial period at the discretion of "devolved bodies", allowing Scotland and Northern Ireland the option not to take part. The proposal was rejected by the government. The bill received its second reading on 24 March 2006; however, it did not pass into law. [5] The Local Government Association has also called for such a trial.[6]

See also


External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


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Proper noun

British Summer Time

  1. (British) A form of daylight-saving time, one hour ahead of UTC, used in the United Kingdom. Abbreviation: BST

See also

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