When did the clocks go forward in 2022? Date when British Summer Time started in the UK – and when the clocks start again

Workmen remove the scaffolding from the restored west face of the Elizabeth Tower clock, commonly known as the Big Ben bell (Photo: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Twice a year households across the country set their clocks an hour ahead or an hour behind, depending on the month – and twice a year many of us are confused about how we set our clocks. .

This is what you need to know about changing your clocks in 2022, and why we’re even doing it in the first place.

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When do the clocks change?

In the UK in 2022, clocks moved forward one hour on March 27, at 1am, marking British Summer Time (BST).

Later this year, we will set the clocks back one hour on October 30 at 2am, which means the UK will be on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Why do we change the clocks twice a year?

British Summer Time (BST), also known as Daylight Saving Time, was originally designed to help people maximize their hours of sunshine throughout the year.

It was created following a campaign by British builder, William Willett, in 1907 with the Summer Time Act of 1916. Willett wrote about his proposal in a pamphlet called Waste of daylightpublished in 1907.

Willett (who is actually the great-great-grandfather of Coldplay frontman Chris Martin) came up with the idea of ​​keeping longer days in the summer so he could play golf longer.

Changing the clocks would have many benefits – especially for golfers who want to incorporate more daylight hours into their games (Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

In the pamphlet, Willett wrote: “Nevertheless, standard time remains so fixed that for nearly half the year the sun shines upon the earth for several hours each day while we sleep, and is rapidly approaching the horizon, having already passed its western limit, when we arrive home after the end of the day’s work.

“Under the most favorable circumstances, there is then only a brief period of declining daylight to spend the short period of leisure available to us.”

It was also believed that the new system would not only benefit avid golfers, but also that making the most of natural sunlight would save energy, which was essential during World War I when coal was limited. .

After much lobbying, Willett’s idea was finally brought to the UK a year after his death, and just after Germany and Austria also introduced daylight saving time. Many other countries involved in World War I also followed suit.

Why is this controversial?

While some may think it’s a good idea to make the most of our daylight, many think the system isn’t all that beneficial and is in fact causing major problems – especially around l Europe where there are three time zones.

In 2019, the European Parliament voted for the total abolition of summer time.

Jean-Claude Juncker, then President of the European Commission, told German public broadcaster ZDF: “The time change will be abolished.

“People don’t want to keep changing their watches.”

Initially, the change was to be implemented last year in 2021, but when EU member states were asked if they wanted to commit to winter or summer time, an agreement could not be found.

EU member states have yet to agree whether to maintain summer or winter time (Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Speaking to French broadcaster BFM TV, new MEP Karima Delli said: “We agree on the time change, but we don’t know whether to stay on time. summer or winter.

“We have a real problem.

After initially announcing that the European Commission was set to scrap seasonal clock changes, RoSPA said it was “in favor of this proposal” and called on the UK government to stick to the clock. British summer all year round.

With the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, the project to abolish the time change has stalled while other issues take priority.

In 2020, UK charity The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said that one of the consequences of the clock change is that “more people are killed and injured on the road from darker evenings in autumn and winter than if we abolished the clock change clocks and adoptions of British summer time all year round”. .

Last year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was actually asked if the UK would follow in the EU’s footsteps and end the need to change our clocks twice a year.

At the time, he said, “I’ll take a look at that suggestion…but it seems unlikely to me.”

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Jan G. Gilbert