Possible implications for Northern Ireland of the Daylight Saving Bill

Written evidence from the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety

1. This brief note is submitted by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS). PACTS is a registered charity with the charitable objective: To protect human life through the promotion of transport safety for the public benefit. PACTS is also an associate Parliamentary group, bringing together practitioners and Parliamentarians to help the latter base policy upon evidence and good practice.

2. For many years, PACTS has been a strong supporter of the adoption of Single/Double Summer Time (SDST) since this will lead to a reduction of casualties on the roads in Great Britain. Evidence from the trial undertaken in 1968-71 shows clearly that casualties fell during the trial period. More recent analysis undertaken by PACTS looking at the reductions in deaths in recent years suggests that between 74 and 98 lives would be saved on current figures if SDST were to be adopted.

3. PACTS recognises that these figures apply to Great Britain not to Northern Ireland. The casualty figures for Northern Ireland are published separately from those for Great Britain. However, given that the reductions in deaths and serious injuries applied across all part of England, Scotland and Wales, it is difficult not to conclude that lives would also be saved by the enactment of this measure in Northern Ireland.

4. PACTS supports the Bill being proposed by Rebecca Harris MP since it calls for a review of the policy to be carried out across government. PACTS recognises that the implications of the adoption of SDST apply across a number of policy areas and that road safety cannot be the only reason for its adoption.

5. PACTS would therefore urge the Select Committee to support the gathering of adequate inter-departmental evidence in order to have a proper and informed debate about the arguments in favour and against the adoption of SDST. Such a process would help to ensure that policy is evidence-led.

6. Should the committee wish to call on PACTS to give oral evidence we would be happy to do so.

17 March 2011