Stonehenge: Summer Solstice online event cancelled
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Former defence minister Tobias Ellwood argues that lighter evenings will help our high streets bounce back and allow attractions to stay open longer. Campaigners also claim that extra sunlight in the evenings will be good for people’s mental and physical health, and cut the number of road accidents. The move comes as the Government encourages councils to give the thumbs-up to “pop up” campsites across the country so families can enjoy a staycation this year and enjoy a “great British summer”.
Mr Ellwood argues that if clocks do not go back this year on October 31 the brighter evenings will be a boost for the holiday industry.
He said: “Tourism and hospitality would enormously benefit… Lighter evenings would see increased high street sales as shops would benefit from over 230 hours of daylight.
“Historic houses, castles, leisure parks and spectator sports would all appreciate the extra hours of sunlight allowing them to increase their operational hours.”
Support has also come from Rebecca Needham of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). She wants to see an end to the “daylight savings spike” in road deaths.
She said: “In 2019, according to statistics provided by the Department for Transport, pedestrian deaths as a result of road accidents rose from 36 in October, to 54 in November and 57 in December… In addition to preventing road deaths and injuries, maintaining BST all-year-round will allow for more daylight in the evenings to enjoy social activities which is particularly important for promoting wellbeing during the colder months.”
Business minister Paul Scully said the Government is sticking with the present system.
He said: “The Government believes that the current daylight-saving arrangements represent the optimal use of the available daylight across the UK. We do not believe there is sufficient evidence to support changing the current system of clock changes, including for travel, tourism and energy usage.”
However, the Government is urging councils to support “pop-up” campsites this summer to meet demand for staycations this summer and boost local economies.
Last year measures were introduced which allowed temporary campsites to open without the need to first apply for planning permission.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Many of us are planning a staycation this year, and I’m asking councils to support the extension of pop-up campsites for tourists and not let red tape get in the way of a great British summer.
“The measures will help holidaymakers make the most out of the beautiful seaside towns and countryside this country has to offer. Greater campsite capacity over the summer months will boost our tourism and hospitality industries and support the communities that rely upon visitors in their area.
“By taking a positive approach we can ensure that tourism, hospitality and the people across the country have a safe and enjoyable summer holiday.”
Businesses will still have to apply for campsite licences and the Government wants councils to speed up the process. Under the new arrangements, land can be temporarily used as a commercial campsite for up to 56 days without applying for planning permission.
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