A SPEED camera on the A4135 in Dursley was responsible for almost half of all speeding tickets issued in Gloucestershire last year.

The fixed camera near Rednock School in Kingshill, which has been set alight several times, snapped 690 out of 1,396 (49 per cent) motorists caught speeding.

If each offender received the standard £60 penalty, this single machine could have potentially generated £41,400 in fines.

Community Police Sergeant Neil Gibbs hailed the camera’s effectiveness on the 30mph road after a troublesome history.

"This used to be quite a fast road and there were a few accidents," he said.

"The proximity to the school was almost certainly a large factor in choosing the site for a camera and it has greatly reduced the number of accidents and slowed traffic down.

"It has been particularly advantageous for the emergency services as well because both the police and fire stations are on that road and often need to come and go in a hurry."

Sgt Gibbs said the camera had been set alight at least twice in the 12 years he had worked in the area.

Gloucestershire Police Inspector Jason Keates suggested that the proximity of the school had led to the camera being used for longer periods.

"But there's also the possibility that a couple of years ago it was set fire to, so people have probably got used to the fact that it hasn't been switched on and they still believe that it's not on," he said.

Another camera in Gloucestershire on the A48 at Alvington caught 424 speeding drivers while the rest of the cameras caught about 40 people.

Gloucestershire County Council said no money raised through fines was paid directly to the authority, instead going to HM Courts and Tribunals Service.