SCOTS would be happier and richer if the clocks were changed at the start of March rather than the end, tourism bosses claimed.
Since 1895, daylight savings time (DST) has seen clocks move an hour back in winter to provide extended periods of natural light in the evening.
Mike Cantlay – chairman of Visit Scotland – said it would have a “profoundly positive effect” to return the clocks back to normal a month ahead of schedule.
But officials said they have no plans to change it as the current schedule “protects children travelling to school”.
Mr Cantlay said: “During March, the vast bulk of British citizens are still in bed when dawn arrives.
“Yet in the early evening – when we could make most use of limited spring daylight – darkness falls between 6pm and 7pm.
“There is no good reason why we wait so much longer coming out of winter to change the clocks.
“That extra hour of daylight would have a profoundly positive effect on outdoor pursuits, including golf, walking, cycling, fishing, skiing and mountaineering.
“When people are on holiday, they are rarely up at 5am to catch the daylight.
“On the other hand, everybody is awake in the early evening. That is when we need daylight — it is that simple.”
Mr Cantlay also claimed the move would reduce both domestic and commercial energy bills by saving on an hour of artificial light each evening.
“Furthermore, it would help put a smile on people’s faces. An extra hour of daylight in the early evenings coming out of winter would help those in Britain who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
“Think of those wonderful things we could do with that extra hour of daylight each evening to shrug off the winter blues.”
Iain McMillan, director of CBI Scotland, said: “This is not something we have considered in the past but it is certainly an idea that is worth exploring.”
A Scottish government spokesman said: “This matter is reserved to the UK government. Our view is that the current system should be maintained to protect the safety of children travelling to Scotland’s schools.”