Plan to bring UK clocks forward

Image caption, The move would mean darker summer mornings but lighter evenings

Longer evenings could move a step closer with a government plan to move UK clocks forward an extra hour.

A "tourism strategy" will include a plan to move the clocks in line with most of Europe, bringing lighter evenings but darker mornings.

Tourism chiefs and safety campaigners support the move, but there are fears in Scotland about road accidents.

Ministers want to be satisfied the country backs the plan before giving the go-ahead, the BBC understands.

Last year, Prime Minister David Cameron indicated he was willing to consider a switch.

"The argument will be won when people across the country feel comfortable with the change," he said in August.

"It's up to those who want to make the change to make the argument to try to convince people right across the country that it's a good thing.

"People who like taking part in sporting activity and would like longer days are already quite easy to sway. That's the key to winning this argument."

Media caption, Dr Mayer Hillman explains the advantages and disadvantages of the UK moving ahead of GMT

The proposals will be published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in the coming week, the BBC has been told.

Three-year trial

Bringing the clocks forward by one hour would bring the UK into line with Central European Time (CET), which is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) plus one hour.

It would mean, for instance, that instead of the sun rising in Newcastle-upon-Tyne at 0714 and setting at 1723, as it does at this time of year, it would rise at 0814 and set at 1823.

Tourism bosses say the number of overseas visitors would increase if summer evenings were lighter and they estimate the benefits to the economy could total billions of pounds.

But there have been fears expressed in Scotland that putting the clocks forward would increase road accidents in the darker mornings.

A parliamentary bill requiring the government to conduct analysis of the costs and benefits of shifting the clocks forward received MPs' initial approval in December.

A three-year experiment to keep BST all year took place between 1968 and 1971, but was not made permanent.

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