Change in British time 'would save lives'

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CHANGING the clocks to match the time in Europe would save 140 deaths and 520 serious injuries on the roads each year, according to a new study.

Even in Scotland, where there is most opposition to a change, there would be 60 fewer deaths and serious injuries on the roads each year. Crime would be reduced, the tourist and travel industries would benefit and less fuel would be consumed.

The Policy Studies Institute says that the case for change 'is unarguable'. This would still involve a clock change each October and March, but it would involve permanently putting the clocks forward by one hour, placing the UK in the Central European time zone with virtually all its EC partners.

However, the Government, which published a consultation paper on the subject four years ago, has still not decided what to do despite widespread support for the move from the public and business.

Meyer Hillman, the author of the report, said: 'The simple fact is that there is more activity in the evenings than the mornings and therefore there will be a reduction in accidents if there is light. And people tend to be more careful and alert in the mornings.' He thought the Government was prevaricating through fear of alienating the Scottish vote.

The Opposition, too, have been hesitating but yesterday Brian Wilson, Labour's transport spokesman and a Scottish MP, said: 'It's time the statistical evidence on lives saved was given more weight than the emotive reaction from farmers who have to get up in the dark anyway.'

The clocks go back this weekend.