SWINDON has been thrusted into the national spotlight today by the council's proposals to pull speed cameras off the town's streets.

The council is reviewing its involvement with the Swindon and Wiltshire Camera Safety Partnership and considering whether to spend its £400,000-a-year contribution elsewhere.

A decision will be made by September.

Council leader Rod Bluh said that they were not going to compromise on safety but were taking the opportunity to review how the money is used.

"A huge amount of money is being raised by speed cameras and we are seeking better ways of ensuring road safety without penalising motorists," he said.

In November, the Advertiser reported that former Coun Andy James had branded the cameras a stealth tax and hatched a plan to demand the Government returned all the cash from Swindon cameras to the council.

In January, Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick refused to hand back the cash generated by the cameras.

And yesterday the Adver reported that Swindon South MP Anne Snelgrove had backed residents' calls for the speed cameras in Queens Drive to be reinstated.

This morning, Coun Bluh spoke on Radio Four's Today programme and appeared on GMTV.

The story has also appeared in a number of national newspapers, including the front page of the Daily Express.

  • End of the road for speed cameras? - Daily Express
    Speed cameras face the axe amid growing claims they are a "blatant tax" on motorists and there are much better ways to improve road safety.
  • We'll Scrap the Greedy Guts Gatso - Daily Mirror
    Rebel council chiefs are threatening to scrap a town's speed cameras - after branding them a "blatant tax" on drivers.
  • Council may stop funding speed cameras - The Independent
    A town council is threatening to withdraw funding from its speed camera network after describing the cameras as a "blatant tax on the motorist".
  • Council may scrap speed camera fun - Daily Telegraph
    A local authority is to become the first in the country to try to scrap its speed cameras after describing them as "a tax on the motorist".

In May, we polled nearly 500 people asking them whether the town needed speed cameras, and 52 per cent them said no.

But what do you think? Should the council pull out of the Swindon and Wiltshire Camera Safety Partnership or remain in it?

Do you think speed cameras save lives or are they just a moneymaking device? Have you say below.

  • The best of the comments will appear in tomorrow's Advertiser.