Definitions

british summer time

Western European Summer Time

Western European Summer Time (WEST) is a summer daylight saving time scheme, 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time. It is used in the following places:

Western European Summer Time is also known by other names:

  • British Summer Time (BST) in the United Kingdom.
  • Irish Standard Time (IST) (Am Caighdeánach na hÉireann (ACÉ)) in Ireland. Also sometimes erroneously referred to as Irish Summer Time (Am Samhraidh na hÉireann).

The scheme runs from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October each year. At both the start and end of the schemes, clock changes take place at 01:00 UTC. During the winter, Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0) is used.

The start and end dates of the scheme are somewhat asymmetrical in terms of daylight hours: the vernal time of year with a similar amount of daylight to late October is mid-February, well before the start of summer time. The asymmetry reflects temperature more than the length of daylight.

Usage

The following countries and territories use Western European Summer Time during the summer, between 1:00 UTC on the last Sunday of March and 1:00 UTC on the last Sunday of October.

  • Canary Islands, regularly since 1980 (rest of Spain is CEST, i.e. UTC+2)
  • Faroe Islands, regularly since 1981
  • The Republic of Ireland
    • 1916–1939 summers IST
    • 1940–1946 all year IST
    • 1947–1968 summers IST
    • 1968–1971 all year IST
    • 1972— summers IST
  • Portugal
    • 1977–1992 WEST
    • 1993–1995 CEST
    • 1996— WEST (except Azores, UTC)
  • The United Kingdom
    • 1916–1939 summers BST
    • 1940–1945 all year BST (1941–1945 summers BDST=BST+1)
    • 1946 summer BST
    • 1947 summer BST (1947 summer BDST=BST+1)
    • 1948–1968 summers BST
    • 1968–1971 all year BST
    • 1972— summers BST

Republic of Ireland

The Standard Time Act 1968 stipulated that standard time is GMT+1 (CET) and from 1968 clocks were not turned back one hour during winter. The subsequent Standard Time (Amendment) Act, 1971 effectively reversed this, and from 1971 returned winter time to Greenwich Mean Time, it did not however change the names of the Irish summer time zone, which are still, officially, Irish Standard Time (IST) and Am Caighdeánach na hÉireann (ACÉ).

Portugal

Portugal moved to Central European Time and Central European Summer Time in 1992, but reverted to Western European Time in 1996 after concluding that energy savings were small, it had a disturbing effect on children's sleeping habits as it would not get dark until 22:00 or 22:30 in summer evenings with repercussions on standards of learning and school performance, and insurance companies reported a rise in the number of accidents.

United Kingdom

Starting in 1916, the dates for the beginning and end of BST each year were mandated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. In February 2002, the Summer Time Order 2002 permanently changed the dates and times to match European rules for moving to and from daylight saving time. The European compromise was closer to previous British practice than to the practice elsewhere in Europe.

Occasional debate breaks out over the validity of BST, due to Britain's latitudinal length. In 2004, an interesting contribution was made by English MP Nigel Beard, who tabled a Private Member's Bill in the House of Commons proposing that England and Wales should be able to determine their own time independently of Scotland and Northern Ireland. If it had been passed into law, this bill would potentially have seen the United Kingdom with two different timezones for the first time since the abolition of Dublin Mean Time (25 minutes behind Greenwich) on August 23, 1916.

During World War II, Britain retained the hour's advance on GMT at the start of the winter of 1940 and continued to advance the clocks by an extra hour during the summers until July 1945. During these summers Britain was thus 2 hours ahead of GMT and operating on British Double Summer Time (BDST). The clocks were reverted to GMT at the end of the summer of 1945. In 1947 the clocks were advanced by one hour twice during the spring and put back twice during the autumn so that Britain was on BDST during the height of the summer.

Safety campaigners, including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), have made recommendations that British Summer Time be maintained during the winter months, and that a "double summertime" be applied to the current British Summer Time period, putting the UK two hours ahead of GMT during summer. RoSPA suggest this would reduce the number of accidents over this period as a result of the lighter evenings, as was demonstrated when the British Standard Time scheme was trialled between 1968 and 1971, when Britain remained on GMT+1 all year. Analysis of accident data during the experiment indicated that while there had been an increase in casualties in the morning, there had been a substantially greater decrease in casualties in the evening, with a total of around 2,500 fewer people killed and seriously injured during the first two winters of the experiment. RoSPA have called for the two year trial to be repeated with modern evaluation methods. The proposal is opposed by farmers and other outdoor workers, and many residents of Scotland and Northern Ireland, as it would mean that, in northern Britain and Northern Ireland, the winter sunrise would not occur until 10:00 or even later.

In 2005, Lord Tanlaw introduced the Lighter Evenings (Experiment) Bill into the House of Lords, which would advance winter and summer time by one hour for a three-year trial period at the discretion of "devolved bodies", allowing Scotland and Northern Ireland the option not to take part. The proposal was rejected by the government. The bill received its second reading on 24 March 2006; it is unlikely to pass as it is not supported by the Government.

The Local Government Association has called for a three-year trial of the Single/Double Summer Time (SDST).

Some small grass-roots movements exist for the abolition of BST entirely, favouring GMT all year round. They typically state a lack of practical gains from the adjustment of time, mooting instead that changing of school and/or business hours would affect the same change without disrupting a scientific standard.

Start and end dates of British Summer Time and Irish Standard Time

Summer Begins (GMT) Ends (GMT) UK Notes Ireland Notes
2011 Sun 27 March 01:00 Sun 30 October 01:00
2010 Sun 28 March 01:00 Sun 31 October 01:00
2009 Sun 29 March 01:00 Sun 25 October 01:00
2008 Sun 30 March 01:00 Sun 26 October 01:00
2007 Sun 25 March 01:00 Sun 28 October 01:00
2006 Sun 26 March 01:00 Sun 29 October 01:00
2005 Sun 27 March 01:00 Sun 30 October 01:00
2004 Sun 28 March 01:00 Sun 31 October 01:00
2003 Sun 30 March 01:00 Sun 26 October 01:00
2002 Sun 31 March 01:00 Sun 27 October 01:00 EU adopts UK practice EU adopts Ireland Practice
2001 Sun 25 March 01:00 Sun 28 October 01:00
2000 Sun 26 March 01:00 Sun 29 October 01:00
1999 Sun 28 March 01:00 Sun 31 October 01:00
1998 Sun 29 March 01:00 Sun 25 October 01:00
1997 Sun 30 March 01:00 Sun 26 October 01:00
1996 Sun 31 March 01:00 Sun 27 October 01:00
1995 Sun 26 March 01:00 Sun 22 October 01:00
1994 Sun 27 March 01:00 Sun 23 October 01:00
1993 Sun 28 March 01:00 Sun 24 October 01:00
1992 Sun 29 March 01:00 Sun 25 October 01:00
1991 Sun 31 March 01:00 Sun 27 October 01:00
1990 Sun 25 March 01:00 Sun 28 October 01:00
1989 Sun 26 March 01:00 Sun 29 October 01:00
1988 Sun 27 March 01:00 Sun 23 October 01:00
1987 Sun 29 March 01:00 Sun 25 October 01:00
1986 Sun 30 March 01:00 Sun 26 October 01:00
1985 Sun 31 March 01:00 Sun 27 October 01:00
1984 Sun 25 March 01:00 Sun 28 October 01:00
1983 Sun 27 March 01:00 Sun 23 October 01:00
1982 Sun 28 March 01:00 Sun 24 October 01:00
1981 Sun 29 March 01:00 Sun 25 October 01:00
1980 Sun 16 March 02:00 Sun 26 October 02:00
1979 Sun 18 March 02:00 Sun 28 October 02:00
1978 Sun 19 March 02:00 Sun 29 October 02:00
1977 Sun 20 March 02:00 Sun 23 October 02:00
1976 Sun 21 March 02:00 Sun 24 October 02:00
1975 Sun 16 March 02:00 Sun 26 October 02:00
1974 Sun 17 March 02:00 Sun 27 October 02:00
1973 Sun 18 March 02:00 Sun 28 October 02:00
1972 Sun 19 March 02:00 Sun 29 October 02:00
1971 Sun 31 October 02:00 BST all year ends IST all year ends
1970 BST all year IST all year
1969 BST all year IST all year
1968 Sun 18 February 01:00 BST all year begins IST all year begins
1967 Sun 19 March 02:00 Sun 29 October 02:00
1966 Sun 20 March 02:00 Sun 23 October 02:00
1965 Sun 21 March 02:00 Sun 24 October 02:00
1964 Sun 22 March 02:00 Sun 25 October 02:00
1963 Sun 31 March 02:00 Sun 27 October 02:00
1962 Sun 25 March 02:00 Sun 28 October 02:00
1961 Sun 26 March 02:00 Sun 29 October 02:00
1960 Sun 10 April 02:00 Sun 2 October 02:00
1959 Sun 12 April 02:00 Sun 4 October 02:00
1958 Sun 20 April 02:00 Sun 5 October 02:00
1957 Sun 14 April 02:00 Sun 6 October 02:00
1956 Sun 22 April 02:00 Sun 7 October 02:00
1955 Sun 17 April 02:00 Sun 2 October 02:00
1954 Sun 11 April 02:00 Sun 3 October 02:00
1953 Sun 19 April 02:00 Sun 4 October 02:00
1952 Sun 20 April 02:00 Sun 26 October 02:00
1951 Sun 15 April 02:00 Sun 21 October 02:00
1950 Sun 16 April 02:00 Sun 29 October 02:00
1949 Sun 3 April 02:00 Sun 30 October 02:00
1948 Sun 14 March 02:00 Sun 31 October 02:00
1947 Sun 2 November 02:00 Back to GMT Back to GMT
1947 Sun 13 April 02:00 Sun 10 August 02:00 BDST (2 hours ahead) IST / no DST
1947 Sun 16 March 02:00 BST begins IST begins
1946 Sun 14 April 02:00 Sun 6 October 02:00 Back to GMT (Oct) Back to GMT (Oct)
1945 Sun 7 October 02:00 Back to GMT IST
1945 Mon 2 April 01:00 Sun 15 July 01:00 BDST (2 hours ahead) IST / no DST
1944 Sun 2 April 01:00 Sun 17 September 01:00 BDST (2 hours ahead) IST / no DST
1943 Sun 4 April 01:00 Sun 15 August 01:00 BDST (2 hours ahead) IST / no DST
1942 Sun 5 April 01:00 Sun 9 August 01:00 BDST (2 hours ahead) IST / no DST
1941 Sun 4 May 01:00 Sun 10 August 01:00 BDST (2 hours ahead) IST / no DST
1940 Sun 25 February 02:00 BST 1940–1945 IST 1940–1946
1939 Sun 16 April 02:00 Sun 19 November 02:00
1938 Sun 10 April 02:00 Sun 2 October 02:00
1937 Sun 18 April 02:00 Sun 3 October 02:00
1936 Sun 19 April 02:00 Sun 4 October 02:00
1935 Sun 14 April 02:00 Sun 6 October 02:00
1934 Sun 22 April 02:00 Sun 7 October 02:00
1933 Sun 9 April 02:00 Sun 8 October 02:00
1932 Sun 17 April 02:00 Sun 2 October 02:00
1930 Sun 13 April 02:00 Sun 5 October 02:00
1929 Sun 21 April 02:00 Sun 6 October 02:00
1928 Sun 22 April 02:00 Sun 7 October 02:00
1927 Sun 10 April 02:00 Sun 2 October 02:00
1926 Sun 18 April 02:00 Sun 3 October 02:00
1925 Sun 19 April 02:00 Sun 4 October 02:00
1924 Sun 13 April 02:00 Sun 21 September 02:00
1923 Sun 22 April 02:00 Sun 16 September 02:00
1922 Sun 26 March 02:00 Sun 8 October 02:00
1921 Sun 3 April 02:00 Sun 3 October 02:00
1920 Sun 28 March 02:00 Sun 25 October 02:00
1919 Sun 30 March 02:00 Sun 29 September 02:00
1918 Sun 24 March 02:00 Sun 30 September 02:00
1917 Sun 8 April 02:00 Sun 17 September 02:00
1916 Sun 21 May 02:00 Sun 1 October 02:00 Abolition of DMT

Note: Until 1 October 1916 time in all of Ireland was based on 25 which was GMT − 25 minutes.

References

Further reading

  • Prerau, David. Saving the Daylight: Why We Put the Clocks Forward (ISBN 1-86207-796-7) — The Story of Summer Time/Daylight Saving Time with a focus on the UK

External links

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