Sir – I was interested in your article on South Oxfordshire District Council’s proposals to deal with air pollution in Wallingford. Air pollution is an invisible killer.

Recent research quoted by Defra shows that air pollution causes more than 50,000 premature deaths in the UK every year. That’s roughly equivalent to five premature deaths a year in a town the size of Wallingford.

Children, pregnant women, over-65s and people with existing respiratory problems such as asthma and emphysema are particularly vulnerable.

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels in parts of High Street, Castle Street and St Martin’s Street have been well above safe levels for many years.

These high levels of NO2 are caused by emissions from vehicles queuing at the traffic lights in the town centre and at Wallingford Bridge.

If we accept that air pollution in Wallingford is a serious problem, we should be willing to consider substantial changes to traffic flow through the town centre in order to improve our air quality.

Surely the health of those who live and work in our town should outweigh any inconvenience to drivers?

Alison Smart
Fraser Gardens