THE future of one of Dorset’s most hated speed cameras will be discussed tomorrow along with plans which will force local councils to reveal whether devices are making a difference to road safety or little more than money-spinners.

Campaigners dubbed the green camera at Holes Bay a “cash cow” after it emerged that it was set to generate £1million from fines in its first year.

Whether it should be switched off will be debated at tomorrow’s Dorset Strategic Road Safety Partnership meeting at police headquarters in Winfrith.

From next month the government will insist that local authorities publish accident figures from before and after speed cameras were installed with devices which fail to reduce accidents likely to be switched off.

The move follows mounting public anger over the huge sums being made by some speed cameras with little apparent impact on road safety.

Road safety minister Mike Penning said: “We want to stop motorists being used as cash cows. For too long information about speed cameras has been hidden in the shadows.”

Councils will be expected to start publishing information by July 20 and have been told to include annual collision and casualty data back to 1990. The new policy follows a government pledge to “end the war on the motorist”.

There are about 6,000 cameras across Britain, generating an estimated £100 million a year which goes direct to the Treasury which redistributes some of it via the Department of Transport to local authorities. More than one million motorists were fined or given penalty points in 2009.

Dorset police head of safety, education and enforcement services Pat Garrett said: “The Dorset Road Safe partnership have always reviewed all camera sites on an on-going basis to ensure that they are an effective tool in reducing road casualties and the risk to public safety.

“Where a camera site is deemed to be ineffective, partners will review and, where necessary, take another approach. It must be remembered that although a camera site may not be operational, it will act as a deterrent.”