A SPEED camera in Chester has generated a staggering £1.045 million in speeding tickets in just three years.
Figures show the camera on the 30mph stretch of Hoole Road (A56) is the seventh most profitable in England and Wales with 17,432 drivers caught and given a minimum £60 fine.
Two more roads in the North West appeared in the top 10, with a speed camera on the M60 near Stockport the most profitable in the country with £1.9million collected in fines.
A camera in Liverpool is the fourth most profitable with £1.2 million collected.
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of pressure group the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “It’s incredible that just a tiny number of cameras are raking in so much cash at motorists’ expense.
“Drivers have long suspected that speed cameras are more about raising money than keeping roads safe.
“The authorities should focus on measure that improve the safety of the roads, not simply look to maximise the amount brought in from fines."
Cheshire West and Chester Council spokesman Laura Johnson said: “Safety cameras are placed in areas where there is a history of speed-related or red-light-running injury crashes.
“The A56, Hoole Road is one of the key routes into Chester and as such has a relatively high number of both collisions and casualties. Between 2009 and 2011 there were four serious injury and 20 minor injury casualties, seven serious collisions and another 11 smaller collisions.
“Motorists join it directly from the motorway, where the speed limit is much higher and many are visitors to the city who may not be familiar with Chester’s road network. However both Hoole Road’s speed limit and the safety camera are both extremely well signed above the minimum requirement and it is clear it operates under a 30mph speed limit.
“Evidence does suggest that where safety cameras are in operation the number of deaths and serious accidents have fallen and Hoole Road’s statistics show a need for the camera to be in place.
“Cheshire West and Chester Council is a member of the Cheshire Road Safety Group and with its partners will continue to promote road safety to reduce the number of casualties on Cheshire's roads and make them safer for everyone.”