No Punt Intended
The punt wars ceasefire has ended, and the conflict is more violent than ever.
Pushy punt touts could see their days of harassing Cambridge pedestrians come to an end.
The city council have stepped in to review how punt tickets are sold to visitors amid accusations that sales staff have been “intimidating” tourists into taking river trips.
Council bosses have suggested opening a punting kiosk in the city centre to keep touts from bugging busy Cantabs.
Cambridge local and Murray Edwards student, Clare Cotterill complained “I have been hassled by touts for pretty much all my life.
“I can understand it when you are crossing Magdalen Bridge, but when you are miles away from the river and they stop you it’s really annoying. I think it would be a bit extreme banning them altogether, but something should be done.”
Not all students were quite as forgiving. Clare student Jake Goodwin-Tindall declared “Good riddance.
“When you are walking around town, minding your own business, there’s nothing worse than having someone try to sell you something you can do for free.”
Punt wars: cry me a river
It is hoped that keeping touts off the streets will put an end to the so-called ‘punt wars’ which erupt every summer as unscrupulous operators compete for some of Cambridge’s five million annual visitors.
Previous incidents include boats being weighted down with bricks, cut in two with an electric saw, and on one occasion a cup of tea thrown in the face of a rival tout.
It seems that punt wars may have started early this year, however, after two boats were vandalised on Monday night. They were found half-underwater with holes drilled in the sides.