It is autumn and with the fatal regularity of a timed bomb comes Sir Greg Knight’s annual attempt to stop our clocks being put back an hour in wintertime.
Maybe he hopes our new PM Teresa May will support him.
However, this idea was put into action in the Heath administration of the 1970s and repealed because it was seen to be unsound, dangerous and irresponsible, otherwise we would have held on to it and he would have no need for concern.
He quotes support from various groups who like lighter evenings (and darker mornings) in winter and he does have economic and commercial reasons for wanting extra working hours for trade and tourism.
However, I’m alarmed because this is not worth the uncontrollable risks to life and limb for all ages – and particularly road users and the elderly – from frost, fog and black ice if this ill-made plan is not stopped here in Bridlington.
Yes, driving at night is more demanding than in daylight and most of us are used to it, and cater for it, but he makes no mention of the frost that accumulates through the night but is gradually melted in morning sunlight. One hour can make all the difference to a pavement or road surface, or to the burning off of early morning fog, the difference between an old person slipping and breaking on the way to an early appointment with the doctor or hospital, or of arriving safely, the difference between a smaller accident on a motorway or a full pile-up in freezing fog. The conditions are significantly worsened with darker mornings so that life-changing accidents are more likely and people are needlessly put at hazard. Who would compensate for the extra suffering and death, our MP Sir Greg? He should.
This is so maddening. It isn’t rocket science. We have a growing elderly population here, many of us with frail bodies and medical needs, and often the only appointments we can get in a hard-pressed medical system are in early morning, and many of us are pedestrians.
He knows our hospital services are under constant threat and does nothing effective against this to alter government policy.
Soon our Minor Injuries Unit may be closed so people with injuries from extra falls, maybe courtesy of Greg’s icy mornings, may have to be treated 20 miles away in Scarborough.
GPs are sending people with open wounds to have them dressed at Bridlington Hospital Wound Clinic but they are under pressure and their next available appointment may be weeks away. Has this man no heart?
I appeal to him. Leave our clocks alone and act like the responsible MP we really need to put lives before commercial interests.