I AM impressed by the level of organised opposition which Aire Valley Against Incineration (AVAI) has mobilised against the proposed waste to energy incinerator at Marley.

However, they are fighting a potential source of pollution and I am disappointed by the lack of concern shown about the actual source of pollution generated every day by vehicle exhausts in our congested town centre, especially high during the ‘stop-start’ movement in queuing traffic.

I still have hopes that at least some AVAI campaigners will also mobilise against nitrogen dioxide (NOx) emissions from road transport.

A recent TV programme called Fighting for Air conducted an analysis of the levels of NOx emissions on a congested suburban street in Birmingham. It gave much needed exposure to a serious health hazard, which is literally on our doorstep and right under our noses. The pollution rating on North Street at BD21 3RZ is stated to be at a higher level than the average for the Bradford district.

Although dirty air doesn’t kill people directly, it is estimated to contribute to shortening the lives of 40,000 people a year in the UK.

Pollution is thought to undermine the health of people with heart or lung problems.

And before everyone says that buses are the problem, it is actually older diesel cars which currently make up 41 per cent of NOx emissions from road transport, compared with 30 per cent for diesel vans and six per cent for buses and coaches, so the bus should be seen as part of the solution to poor urban air quality, rather than one of its causes.

The British bus industry is already ahead in the fight to reduce the production of NOx with “clean diesels”, hybrids, gas-powered and electric buses and the latest generation of diesel buses with Euro 6 engines are the cleanest diesel vehicles on our roads.

Given that people require transport in some form, a modal switch from cars to the higher seating capacity buses would achieve a marked reduction in NOx emissions in central Keighley.

Similarly, as has already been argued, the creation of a green “Central Town Park”, by providing leafy cover, would also improve the quality of air in one of the most congested parts of Keighley.

GRAHAM MITCHELL Oakworth (Keighley town mayor 2006/07 and 2014/15)