Cycling in the Dark

The impact of the abolition of bi-annual clock changes on cycling

For many people, natural light conditions are an important factor in deciding between riding by bike or using another means of transportation. Thus, abolishing the bi-annual clock change could have a strong impact on bicycle traffic. This relationship is explored in more detail in a recent study by Jan Wessel. Using automated bicycle counts, it is first shown that better daylight conditions actually lead to more higher cycling levels. The extent of this effect depends on the type of traffic and the time of day. These effects in turn have important consequences for the debate on abolishing the bi-annual clock change, which was decided in the EU in 2018 but has not yet been implemented. Accordingly, an all-year Daylight Saving Time would lead to an increase in cycling by about 3.14% to 3.37%, compared to an all-year Standard Time. In Germany alone, this would mean an increase of around 1.27 to 1.36 billion kilometers cycled per year. This results in positive external effects, which are also calculated in the article.