SPEEDING motorists in Flintshire have been hit by £240,000 worth of speed camera fines in the last three years.
The figure was revealed after a Freedom of Information request, which also revealed that one single camera had raked in almost £80,000 since 2011.
The county’s most prolific camera is on the A548 in Greenfield. It has snapped 6,449 speeding motorists in the last three years.
Of these, 1,318 were hit with £60 fines, meaning the Greenfield camera raised £79,080.
Drivers in Greenfield said they were unsurprised about the findings, and fumed that the speed camera was hard to see as it is sited around a bend.
Donald Maguire, from Greenfield said: “The best camera I saw was one where the road was painted red coming up to it, so if you get caught in that you deserve it, but this one is just hidden away.”
The number of people caught out by the camera has remained relatively stable in the last three years.
In 2011, 2,433 people were caught with 543 fined, in 2012 that rose to 2,545 people with 515 fines and so far in 2013 there have been 1,471 people caught with 260 fines issued.
On the website of the Alliance of British Drivers, an organisation claiming to represent the independent voice of drivers, a post about the speed camera slams its positioning.
It said: “This is unquestionably the worst sited speed camera in North Wales.
“It’s probably the worst in Wales; it may even be the worst in the UK.
“Dating from a time when the malicious hiding of speed cameras was all the rage, this just takes the biscuit.
“There is also absolutely no indication whatsoever of a speed camera.”
Some motorists are much more positive about the camera, which they have said helps to slow traffic to a safer speed.
One woman, who did not want to be named, said: “I think it’s a good idea because we have a grandson who walks home from school from there and it is a really narrow path. I think it makes it safer.
“It’s a busy road and a lot of big lorries come down it.”
Resident Ian Roberts, who lives close to the speed camera, went one step further. He said: “Most people speed up as soon as they get past it.
“They need to put another one further up the road.”
In total, cameras in Flintshire have caught 20,156 people in the last three years bringing in £243,960 in fines.
The camera on the A5104 in Pontbodkin raked in £50,400 in the last three years, while a camera on the B5129 in Pentre raised £36,960 for government coffers.
The least prolific camera was on the A549 in Mynydd Isa which recorded fines of £2,460.
A spokesman for North Wales Police said more than half of people caught complete a speed awareness course rather than receiving a fine, known as a ‘conditional offer of fixed penalty’.
“The number of ‘fines’ (conditional offers) resulting from speed offences will always therefore constitute a minority of cases,” the spokesman added.
Ellen Booth, senior campaigns officer from Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Speed cameras are exceptionally effective in reducing speeds, crashes and devastating deaths and injuries that traumatise families.
“Speed cameras save the tax payer money by reducing the bill to the NHS and emergency services from road casualties while revenue from fines from law breaking drivers goes back to central government, not to local safety partnerships that run the cameras.
“Brake urges drivers to stick to well within the speed limits at all times, and reduce their speed even further when it’s needed in order to help prevent loss of life and serious injury on our roads.”
On the website of Go Safe, who control the speed cameras, it stated: “Cameras are there to encourage motorists to drive within the speed limit so the most successful cameras are those which record the least number of offences not the most.
“Every camera in the Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership area complies with the Welsh Government guidance on where cameras can be placed.
“How and when cameras are deployed depends on the accident history and road safety problem at each location.
“So every time you see a safety camera remember that it’s there to help make sure that you and other road users have a safe journey, not to catch motorists out or make money.”