From Paul Holroyd.
JERSEY currently lies at the centre of the Western European Time Zone. Should the decision to change to CET be made, we would then be placed towards the western extremity of the Central European Time Zone.
Time zones have been established to ensure that people in various parts of the world have a good balance of daylight and night conditions. If Jersey aligned itself with CET, there is no doubt that we would have an extra hour of daylight in the evenings, but on the negative side, from about 20 November until 10 February the sun would not rise before 8.30 in the mornings.
The centre of the CET zone lies at a longitude of about 10°E (or 12° east of Jersey). On the same latitude the sun rises about 50 minutes earlier than Jersey, which is the reason that they are one hour ahead of us. The areas in the CET zone that lie on the same longitude or to the west of us are limited to the Brest peninsular and western Spain. As Spain is well to the south of us it has considerably shorter daylight hours in the summer, and so the argument for extra daylight in the evenings has more relevance. Portugal and the Canary Islands are aligned to the Western European Time Zone – the same as us at the moment.
Considering transport on and off the Island, it is unlikely that many of the airlines would be willing, or even able, to change their schedules to cater for Jersey ‘going it alone’. Their aircraft fly other schedules when they are not operating on the Jersey route; they are further restricted by landing slots into some of the major airports. If we are keen to keep the same quality of service, the Airport would now be required to stay open to 10.30 pm in the summer with possible extensions to 11.30 pm or later during the peak periods. How would the residents of St Peter feel about that?
Television programmes would run an hour later. 9 o’clock programmes would not start until 10 pm. The News at 10 would be delayed until 11 pm. If there is a case for children having more daylight for evening activities, or for road safety considerations, then there is nothing to stop the schools opening and closing an hour earlier. Similarly, businesses are totally free to set the working hours that best suit their needs.
It does not need politicians meddling with time zones to force upon the population what they think is best for them.
Le Vieux Beaumont,