VANDALS twisted a speed camera away from the road in an apparent bid to stop it catching motorists.

But the person responsible did not realise the camera, in Audley Range, Blackburn, had not been working for three years.

Speed camera bosses said they had stopped putting film in the camera in 2005 following the completion of a traffic calming scheme.

This was not known by the saboteur, who twisted the camera from the road towards a hedge.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety said its officers would probably now remove the camera.

He said: “The camera is neither in use, nor maintained, and consequently safety camera technicians do not visit the site.

“If that was not the case, this damaged housing would have been repaired within days.

“Being decommissioned and damaged, it has become a maintenance burden and this might be the best time to remove the housing from this site.”

The camera was first installed in 1994 when Audley Range was used more as a major route between Blackburn and Accrington.

But, after work to create the Orbital Route, the road was downgraded and a traffic calming scheme was installed.

The spokesman said: “Safety cameras are very good at addressing a localised speeding problem, but they do not address speeding problems away from the cameras.

“Audley Range had a speeding problem along its length.

“The traffic calming scheme was implemented in 2005 and included small road humps and the provision of a zebra crossing.

“Following the implem-entation of this scheme, traffic speed along its length reduced and there was no further need for a safety camera.

“However, it was found that the existing housing did act as a deterrent and was therefore left in place, even when it was not working.”