SCARBOROUGH’S tourism industry could be in for a “boost” as plans are unveiled to bring clocks forward.
Longer evenings could be on the cards as the Government is this week expected to announce a new ‘tourism strategy’, which includes plans to move the clocks in line with most of Europe.
However, although the move will bring brighter evenings it will also mean darker mornings during winter months.
For example yesterday in Scarborough the sun rose at 7.08am and set at 5.22pm. If the proposals get the go-ahead the sun won’t rise until 8.08am, but everyone will get an extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day as the sun would set at 6.22pm.
Tourism officials in Scarborough support the move, believing it will bring economic benefits to the town.
Cllr Janet Jefferson, portfolio holder for Tourism and Culture for Scarborough Council, said: “It think its a good idea. It will encourage people to go out and about on an evening when it is lighter instead of it being dark before they even get home.
“From a tourism point of view it has to be a plus as it gives people that extra to stay here and enjoy Scarborough.”
Graham North, chairman of Scarborough’s Forum for Tourism, agreed. He said; “We have supported this idea for some time. It keeps everyone in the town for an extra hour in the afternoon and evening, instead of having the light in the morning when tourists aren’t here to benefit from it.
“It will encourage families to stay in the resort longer, which will be a big boost, especially in winter months.”
The proposed move is also being welcomed by people who play sport.
Matthew Hewison, a sports development officer for Scarborough Council, said: “It will be very good news for people who play sport on an evening. We rely heavily on floodlights at the moment to play any sport during winter months on an evening but this will give that extra one hour gap for those who don’t have access to flood lit facilities.
“It will also benefit weekend sports as teams will be able to train mid week, and have the opportunity to use week nights for fixtures.
“Having that extra hour will also encourage unorganised sport. For example people will be able to go for a run after work, or meet their friends for a kick about in the park.”
National 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.
The proposals have received objects though, particularly from the Scottish Government, which fears there could be an increase in road traffic accidents due to the darker mornings.
A three year experiment to keep BST all year took place between 1968 and 1971, but was not made permanent.
Last year, Prime Minister David Cameron indicated he was willing to consider a switch, but only if people across the country are comfortable with the change.