Possible implications for Northern Ireland of the Daylight Saving Bill

Written evidence from Lighter Later

1. We, Lighter Later, represent a nationwide coalition of individuals and organisations advocating a shift to Single/Double Summer Time (SDST) and supporting the related Daylight Saving Bill.

2. We currently have over 65 organisations and over 36,000 individuals signed up to our campaign.

3. There is a regrettable absence of data on the effects of SDST in Northern Ireland (NI) specifically. However, following consultation with experts in road safety including RoSPA and PACTS, sporting bodies such as the Sports and Recreation Alliance and tourism industry experts including BALPPA and the Tourism Alliance, we strongly believe that the expected benefits of SDST for Great Britain (GB) would be equally felt in NI. A list of these benefits, with the supportive research, can be found on our website.

4. Most public opinion polls on SDST to date have only surveyed Great Britain. However, a Money Saving Expert poll encompassing GB and NI found that 66% of the 26,328 votes received were in favour of the change.

5. We feel that the only way to definitively establish the implications of SDST for Northern Ireland would be through an in-depth cost-benefit analysis of all the available evidence, as proposed in the Daylight Saving Bill.

6. We are aware that the Daylight Saving Bill has yet to generate the level of debate and discussion in NI that is ongoing in other areas of the UK. However, initial contacts with interested groups have revealed attitudes ranging from ambivalence to support for a move to SDST. Some of these groups may have submitted their own evidence to the committee. The Ulster Farmers Union noted that "extra evening light could particularly benefit part-time farmers" [1] . They also drew attention to the potential road safety gains. The Northern Ireland Sports Forum are very supportive of the bill and "believe that one extra hour of sunlight will provide more opportunities for people to get involved in sport and recreation and to stay active throughout the whole year, not just in the summer months" [2] .

7. Many of the bodies involved in our coalition represent NI as well as GB interests e.g. BIAZA, the Bed and Breakfast Association, the AA and Greenpeace. These organisations support the Daylight Saving Bill because they believe it will bring a wealth of benefits to the whole of the UK.

8. Clearly Northern Ireland is in a unique position in that it shares close links with both Britain and the ROI. Tentative enquiries suggest that the ROI would be keen to follow suit were the UK to make this change so as to avoid the difficulties associated with multiple time zones, especially for those living by the border. Please see the newspaper article printed in the Irish times on 26 March 2011.

9. We appreciate the committee’s acknowledgement of the increasing call for change. If you would like any further information, we would be more than happy to put members of the committee in touch with representatives of any of our member groups or discuss it with you ourselves.

26 March 2011

[1] “ The Ulster Farmers’ Union feel that extra evening light could particularly benefit part-time farmers. We would also like to highlight that due to varying finishing times, children are now more likely to walk home from school so extra evening light could help make their journey home safer.” Ruth Irvine, Chair of the UFU Rural Affairs Committee.


[2] “ The Northern Ireland Sports Forum is greatly supportive of any initiative that will help people get active and help create a healthier nation. We believe that one extra hour of sunlight will provide more opportunities for people to get involved in sport and recreation and to stay active throughout the whole year, not just in the summer months”. Katie Nixon, Executive manager of the Northern Ireland Sports Forum