Swindon Borough Council has spent thousands of pounds on repairing damage caused by road sweeper accidents over the past six years.

Thousands more have been paid out by insurers, and the bill may have been even higher, with the cost of some incidents not recorded.

The information came from an Freedom of Information request to the council, which shows that incidents have included road sweepers skidding on black ice, reversing into other vehicles, and damaging street furniture.

The most expensive since 2012 involved a road sweeper tipping on to its side in Eastcott Hill after skidding on ice on December 29, 2014. The council was required to pay out a £2,500 excess on repairs.

On June 5 of the same year, another £1,429.92 repair bill was racked up after a driver collided with a street sweeper.

Two more incidents that year saw insurers also footing a significant bill, paying out nearly £2,000. Both occasions involved road sweepers reversing into other vehicles.

While it is not clear whether the same driver was involved on both occasions, after the second collision, the driver that day was removed from driving duties until he had completed an assessment.

Of the 10 incidents between 2012 and 2017, two saw the council pay out, two saw the bill footed by insurers, three had no cost, and three costs were not recorded.

Five of the collisions were deemed to be the fault of the road sweeper driver, and four of a third party.

A spokesman forthe council said: “Our road sweeping team work extremely hard on a daily basis to keep the town’s streets clean but, unfortunately, like motorists who use the roads every day, they are not immune to accidents.

“It should be pointed out that of the 10 accidents that occurred ver the six-year period, only half were attributable to one of our drivers and four were the fault of a third party.

“To put the figures into further context, we have six road sweepers that operate across the borough throughout the week. Over the six-year period quoted they would have completed more than 10,000 rounds, the equivalent of 60,000 hours of cleaning.

“We take the safety of our drivers and the public extremely seriously. Our drivers receive full training and those that drive our larger sweepers also undertake additional competency training.”