On 10th June 1971 following the Queen’s visit to Maldon the previous 28th May to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Maldon being granted a Royal Charter, all motorists convicted of speeding on the roads of Maldon and Heybridge during the previous eight years, were granted Royal Pardons and any fines and court costs were to be repaid.
The pardons resulted from a muddle of road signs arising from a dispute between Maldon Borough Council and the Essex County Council in respect of 30 and 40mph speed limit signage. Assistant Chief Constable Kenneth Alston commented that it was not the police’s responsibility to put up road signs.
A Maldon Borough council officer said ‘Nobody is to blame, certainly not us!’, however Essex County Council said it was Maldon’s responsibility to erect the correct signs.
When questioned, a Home Office spokesman said money for fines could only be repaid if there was evidence of misconduct or negligence by public officials. The matter was under consideration.
About 100 motorists were thought to be effected.
(Report Maldon and Burnham Standard June 1971)