Arsonists have targeted a speed camera that was installed earlier this year amid mounting concern over the number of collisions on a Bradford road.

The fire broke out on the A6177 Killinghall Road, near the junction with Intake Road, Undercliffe at about 2am yesterday.

Councillors who campaigned for the camera to be installed have reacted angrily to the fire, branding the offenders “mindless thugs.”

Firefighters said someone had placed a pile of tyres around the base of the camera before setting fire to them.

The flames are not thought to have reached high enough to damage the yellow box that contains the recording equipment.

In January, West Yorkshire Casualty Reduction Partnership decided to put up four cameras on Killinghall Road following nine fatal or near-fatal collisions in four years.

One of those collisions happened in late 2008, when four men were killed as their stolen Subaru Impreza smashed into Killinghall Fisheries.

Councillor Ghazanfer Khaliq said: “I campaigned for these speed cameras because concern was raised by a lot of residents about the speed of traffic on that road, particularly in an area where there are a lot of schools.

“I am disappointed that mindless thugs are doing this to something that is there for the safety of motorists, pedestrians and schoolchildren.

“At the end of the day, it’s there to protect the community. Some people probably think they are a money-making tool, but most people appreciate that they do reduce the speed of vehicles.

“This is not the first time we have seen speed cameras and CCTV damaged. The one on Otley Road was damaged recently as well. There’s no excuse for it and it must stop.”

Airedale and North Bradford Police said they were called by the fire service at about 2.30am to a report of a fire at a speed camera on Killinghall Road.

A police spokesman said: “At this stage it is not certain how much, if any, damage was done to the camera which is due to be tested by the Council.

“Police are investigating the matter.”