Letter: Time-consuming exercise

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From Mr Nicholas Bond

Sir: Peter Popham seems intent on propagating the misconception that changing the time on our clocks can give us more hours of daylight ("Time for a little daylight - and sanity" 25 November),

He quotes Dr Mayer Hillman's calculations that putting the clocks forward an hour would give us 12 per cent (weekdays) and 35 per cent (weekends) extra time for "daylight-dependent activities". It must be obvious to everyone with any intelligence that we will get no extra daylight time purely by moving the hands on our clocks - so from where do these figures come?

It seems that we have become slaves to time rather than having the flexibility of being able to start the day earlier, or later, if we so wish. If, during the winter months, it is in the interests of schoolchildren in the south of England to start school at 8am and builders in the north of Scotland to start work at 10am, they should be able to do so whether our clocks are registering GMT, Summer Time or Central European Time.

As for Mr Popham's desire for winter tennis without floodlights, gardening and daylight dog walking, to achieve this at present he has only to get up an hour earlier at weekends and, with the clocks altered during the week, he would still have to take the afternoon off to get in a game of tennis or make an impact on his garden. And what about those of us who regularly walk our dogs early in the morning?

Spending valuable parliamentary time, newsprint and broadcasting time arguing about which hour the hands of our clocks should be pointing at is not going to give us any more daylight and will do little for anyone's sanity.

Yours faithfully,

Nicholas Bond

Lower Quinton, Warwickshire

25 November

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