ONE of Swindon’s six functioning speed cameras has been torched only two months after another camera suffered a similar fate.

The camera, which is located on the northbound stretch of the A419, just before the Turnpike roundabout at Blunsdon, was set alight at approximately 2am on Saturday.

It was one of four temporary speed cameras placed alongside roadworks to protect both workers and motorists while construction work continued on the Blunsdon bypass.

The last Swindon camera to be set alight, on the A345 opposite Chiseldon Primary School, has yet to be replaced, despite the vandalism occurring on May 31. So far five cameras have been destroyed in the last six years.

The latest incident comes only days after the Wiltshire and Swindon Safety Camera Partnership revealed to the Adver how many drivers were caught and fined by speed cameras since 2002.

The data, given as part of a Freedom of Information request, shows that 53,685 people have been caught speeding by the Swindon cameras, raising £1,888,890.

Figures also show that the less derided red-light cameras have also raked in £815,910 worth of fines and caught 8,903 drivers since 2002.

The figures remain much higher however, when taken from across Wiltshire, where the cameras made almost £1.76m from drivers last year alone.

Swindon’s speed cameras have attracted national media attention over the past few weeks due to Swindon Council’s previous statements that it might be the first local authority in the country to pull out of the safety camera partnership.

The council is thinking about taking the steps after Coun Peter Greenhalgh (Con, Freshbrook and Grange Park) and cabinet member for highways, transport and strategic planning, claimed the council deserved some of the revenue from the cameras instead of it all going to the Government.

He believes the £400,000 the council put into the scheme should qualify them for them to receive some back.

Coun Greenhalgh said he would prefer education and information rather than using prosecution to encourage drivers to drive safely.

He said: “If the Government were so concerned with saving people’s lives then they should be more concerned with hospital-bound bacteria.

“The local authority should not be put in charge of anything criminal – that is the police’s duty not the councils.

“In some cases some cameras are used not for the purpose of saving people’s lives but to raise money.

“I would say that motorways are the safest roads in Britain but mobile cameras are increasingly being put on bridges above them.”

Anne Snelgrove, MP for South Swindon, said that the Government paid out around £110m per year for road safety – whereas fines add up to around £99.5m.