POLITICIANS have traded snipes over Swindon Council's threat to pull speed cameras from the town's streets.

South Swindon MP Anne Snelgrove reignited debate over the future of speed cameras in Swindon on Monday when she said scrapping them would be playing politics with people's lives'.

She was reacting to a plan first mooted by Swindon Council last November when it said unless Government refunded cash made by the cameras to the town, it would withdraw form the speed camera partnership it helps fund.

Such a move would be the first of its kind in the UK and see speed cameras pulled from the town's streets.

Ms Snelgrove said: "I just want to stop Swindon Council from withdrawing.

"I know making this call will make me unpopular with some but the council needs to think about the safety of the children of Swindon on our roads."

Council leader Roderick Bluh said officers were working on proposals for the council to withdraw from the partnership - and that no final decision would be taken before September.

Mr Bluh served a three-month driving ban after he collected 12 points on his licence for speeding.

He admitted the ban, which was imposed before he became Swindon Council leader in 2006, changed his driving behaviour but said there were other ways to improve people's driving.

"None of this is against speed cameras - we haven't yet had that debate," he said.

"Apart from the Adver no-one has really picked up on our decision on this until now.

"And we aren't looking to trailblaze a way forward on this. We just want a debate with the partnership on if these are good or bad devices."

He said since the start of the week he had been swamped with emails of support from drivers who dislike cameras.

An AA spokesman said: "Cameras are often seen as the first and last resort rather than looking at a junction improvement or traffic calming. The most pragmatic thing to do would be to look at where cameras are effective and where they are not."

A spokeswoman for the RAC Foundation said: "Once one council starts thinking about this, it would not be surprising if others followed.

"Some engineering schemes are massively more cost-effective and have bigger road safety returns than speed cameras."

Sgy Nick Blencowe, acting manager of the Wiltshire and Swindon Safety Camera Partnership, said the devices had helped reduce accidents at key locations around the town.

He also said a new temporary camera had been installed on the newest part of the Blunsdon bypass opened to traffic and said that a camera put of action by vandals on the A346 at Chiseldon would be replaced in the near future.

He also said cameras on Queens Drive and the A420 which had been bagged up by the partnership, were not being used as speed limits in those areas had changed, meaning signage needed altering before the cameras could return to operation.