Double summer time plans put on hold

By Jennifer Lipman, March 4, 2011

Plans to change Britain’s clocks to make dawn and dusk an hour later have been put on hold by the government.

The controversial proposal to bring UK clocks into line with Europe has been omitted from a Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) policy paper, published today.

The suggestion to create “double summer time” had drawn criticism from Jewish groups as well as in Scotland, where the change would have significantly lengthened dark mornings.

Tourism Minister John Penrose admitted that there had been debate about whether to include it in the tourism strategy, but that the government would not take the issue forwards “unless people in Scotland and Northern Ireland [were] comfortable with it."

A spokesman for the department added that while the government position remained the same, “it [would] not make changes unless all parts of the UK were in favour."

Last week the Board of Deputies cautioned about the potentially "detrimental effect" on religious life the change could have, including making it more difficult to attend morning services in winter and pushing the start time of the Seder meal later.

It would also mean that Shabbat would not end until 12.45am at the height of summer in some parts of Scotland.

Last updated: 3:46pm, March 4 2011