How Northern Ireland would benefit from moving the clocks forward

PSI's Mayer Hillman has written a new memorandum on the implications for Northern Ireland of the adoption of the proposal to advance clocks by one hour.

It seeks to provide an impartial assessment of whether the move would be of general benefit to the people of Northern Ireland. The areas of daily life that would be affected have been examined using a framework similar to that in the author’s previous studies on the subject, especially the study covering Scotland, which was published in autumn 2010.

Hillman concludes that adopting Single Double Summer Time (SDST) - that is spending the winter with the clocks at GMT+1 and the summer at GMT+2 - would appear to be an effective, practical and remarkably straightforward way of better aligning our waking hours with the available daylight during the year. The evidence presented in the memorandum indicates that advancing the clocks would bring Northern Ireland at least as great benefits as those predicted for the rest of the UK:

  • The change would create far more opportunities for outdoor leisure in the evenings;
  • It would be a boon for the tourist and leisure industries in terms of revenue and job creation;
  • Later sunset throughout the year would give the great majority of the population more daylight hours to enjoy in the evenings;
  • Most parents would be able to extend the hours that they allow their children to be out and about and the lives of most elderly people fearful of going out after dark would be improved;
  • There would be a small reduction in road casualties and in lighting costs;
  • Most importantly, the great majority of the population could look forward to a marked improvement in their health and quality of life;
  • It has been seen that the grounds repeatedly cited in support of keeping the present time zone have lost much of their relevance since the last time the
    subject was seriously debated during the 1968–71 trial with the summertime clock retained for three winters.

Read the memorandum