THE Prime Minister has effectively told us to keep our mouths shut until 2042 – the date when she expects to have sorted out the problem of air pollution.

That means 24 more years that many inner city dwellers and workers will have to endure breathing air that will harm them.

With at least 50,000 premature deaths nationally every year because of the current state of our lungs there’s no time to waste.

One of the advantages of the coal smoke that we once inhaled was that we could see and smell it, but the emissions from the current dominance of gas for electricity production and the heating of buildings is invisible, and thus often ignored.

The same applies to the emissions from vehicle engines, with at least 38 million on our roads, all emitting the problem nitrogen oxides that can combine with other gases and lead to serious lung problems and asthma.

We get right upset about the litter we can see but it’s harmless compared with the unseen pollution wafting around us – if the latter was bright orange we would have known it needed sorting years ago.

Bradford has a typical Air Quality Action Plan and it’ll try to address the impact of growing volumes of nitrogen oxide in the air. Excessive amounts, mainly from the use of coal and petrol, can inflame lung linings and cause serious respiratory problems. It’s not helped either by other gases such as sulphur dioxide and minute particulate matter.

As expected the main areas of concern in Bradford are the main car and lorry routes on Mayo Avenue, Thornton Road, Manningham Lane and the Shipley/Airedale Road. The answer includes reducing car use, increasing walking, and making the bus fleet all electric, and cheaper.

Less suburban house building, replaced by flats above shops would also help until all vehicles are powered by renewable electricity.