Punting 'threatens the character' of Cambridge, says local councillor

Image credit: William M. Collonney

With around 5.5 million visitors per year, there are more people wanting to tour the Backs than there are licensed punt operators to take them. However, Cambridge City Council started imposing fines on punt touts in September 2016, and is now seeking to ban punt businesses from using any Council land to access the Cam. This would mean punt operators launching from council land could face prison and/or a fine.

Local councilor John Hipkin said “Visiting places is a very agreeable part of modern life, but if it gets out of hand it threatens the character of the place you want to visit. The fast food, the litter, the punts…”. The councillor admits his comments make him sound like a “grumpy old man”.

Local people are seeing the roads, river and high street getting busier and busier but the tourists spend money in Cambridge. The number of tourists visiting Britain has surged since the pound plummeted following the Brexit vote and at the same time the number of Brits holidaying in the UK is also increasing. 

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