Almost out of nowhere, the Lighter Evenings bill has made a comeback in the form of a three year experiment beginning with the clocks not going back this year. The bill is currently in the Lords, but has not been adopted by the executive. This is an excellent plan. Lighter evenings at the expense of darker mornings. Fewer crimes (muggers would have to get up early to make use of the darkness), safer roads (lighter at the end of the day - our bodyclocks tend to make us tired as light levels drop) and generally more light at the time of the day when people have free time.
Farmers will probably complain, but they get up with the sun and not the civil clock anyway so I don't see that it'd make a big difference really. The people I do feel sorry for are postal workers and the like, as they have to rise with the civil clock and so will be spending more time in darkness, but on the whole I think the benefits outweigh the problems.
The experiment was tried in the 1970s and was a success by all of the above measures - it did not continue mostly due to the complaints of farmers and Scots. However, we now have devolution (alledgedly) so England and Wales could go their own way...
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 UTC+1 all year. 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, as it would mean that, in northern Britain, the winter sunrise would not occur until 10a.m. or even later.