Why does RoSPA campaign for Single/Double British Summertime?

In the UK, we follow Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) from October to March and British Summer Time (BST) which is GMT + 1 hour from March to October. Most of Europe is one hour ahead of GMT in winter and two hours ahead of GMT in summer - always one hour ahead of the UK.

One of the consequences of the UK’s system is that more people are killed and injured on the road because of darker evenings in the autumn and winter than would be if we adopted Single/Double British Summertime (SDST).

Changing to SDST would mean that during winter, time would be GMT + 1 hour and during summer, time would be GMT + 2 hours. This would create lighter evenings all year round and result in fewer people being killed and injured in road accidents. It would also bring significant environmental, economic and health benefits, the latter being particularly relevant to the concerns about obesity and public health.

During the week, casualty rates peak at 8am and 5pm for adults and 8am and 3.30pm for children, with the afternoon peak being higher for both. Road casualty rates increase with the arrival of darker evenings and worsening weather conditions.

In 2012, pedestrian deaths rose from 32 in September, to 40 in October, 38 in November and 61 in December. The overall casualty rate increased from 664 per billion vehicle miles in September to 692 per billion vehicle miles in November. [1] There are about 10 per cent more collisions killing or injuring a pedestrian in the four weeks following the clocks going back than in the four weeks before the clocks changed.[2]

Adopting Single/Double Summer Time would save around 80 lives and 212 serious injuries a year.[3]

You can find more information about Single Double British Summertime at www.rospa.com/roadsafety/advice/general/summertime_briefing.htm.


[1] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2012” (Table RAS30020), Department for Transport, 2013

[2] “Improving Road Safety for Pedestrians and Cyclists in Great Britain”, National Audit Office, 6 May 2009  

[3] “A Safer Way: Making Britain’s Roads the Safest in the World”, Department for Transport, 2009  


Date Updated/Created: 24/10/2013


Share this page: