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Thread: Shewed punters

  1. #1
    Thailand Expat david44's Avatar
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    Shewed punters

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/05/25/cambridge-punt-war-reaches-high-court-council-bans-company-taking/Cambridge punt war reaches High Court as council bans company from taking tourists on river





    5:50PM


    Cambridge's punt wars reached the High Court on Friday as the council banned an established company from taking tourists on the water.

    Traditional Cambridge Tours, which has been operating on the River Cam for 12 years, was accused by Cambridge City Council of trespassing by conducting unauthorised commercial operations on its land.

    In what is understood to be the first ruling of its kind, Mrs Justice Whipple granted an injunction covering punting operations at several locations in Cambridge and any breach of the order would amount to a contempt of court which is punishable with imprisonment or a fine.

    The judge said that the company, whose punts currently depart from and return to a slipway on Garrett Hostel Lane, has no licence to conduct operations from that site or from any other land belonging to the council.

    Sam Matthews, a director at the company told The Telegraph his company has had to make 65 people redundant, and that the decision by the judge was a "disappointing" one.

    "We're fighting a losing battle. We'll keep applying to the council for a site where we can work out of - as we've done for six years - but when they keep getting turned down you have to look at something else to do," he said.

    "It's a decision we've spent a lot of money on defending. The judgement is probably the right one to the letter of the law, but it's very disappointing."




    View of Scudamore's Punting Company on the River Cam CREDIT: JOHN LAWRENCE/TMG

    A spokesman for the company - which ceased trading Friday night - told The Telegraph: "I've spent the day cancelling bookings - and we were booked up to the end of the year. You try telling a hen, 'Sorry, you can't go out tomorrow', and then watch the prices of the other companies shoot up."

    Trinity College, which adjoins Garrett Hostel Lane, supported the application, claiming the activity had an adverse impact on the college's enjoyment of its own land.

    But Traditional Cambridge Tours argued the council was not entitled to an injunction at all.
    The other directors, Tom Arnold, Milan Kovakevich and George Sugden, told the judge of fierce competition in the city's punting market and said they suspected the application was motivated by a desire to put them out of business, which would be to the advantage of competitors.

    They denied they had trespassed on private land, and said they would like the council to provide more official punt stations so they could continue their business, but as it stands, they are completely banned from the water.

    The council said previous efforts to stop the activity failed and it had no realistic choice but to seek an injunction, claiming it was interfering with the rights of others to use the council's land.

    The judge said the council had tried many different strategies in the past and none of them had succeeded and therefore it was entitled to take action. She said: "The council is funded by the public purse.

    "It should not be required to make a succession of expensive applications to court, as and when a fresh trespass occurs, depleting limited resources which are better spent elsewhere."

    In September 2017, Mr Arnold said: "We are just a few guys who enjoy what we do.
    "We are quite happy competing against other punting companies and all we want is that same fair crack of the whip.
    "In the end, it will be bad for the consumer if one company is allowed to get a monopoly on the river, as that will give them the pricing power to make huge profits. It feels to us like a stitch-up."
    Originally Posted by HuangLao
    Those with lesser cognitive reasoning should refrain from commentary.

  2. #2
    Your own Personal Jesus
    DJ Pat's Avatar
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    Do they have menacing punt rental scammers prowling the towpaths?

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    Have to pay for the hole in the canoe when you bring it back...

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat david44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaitongBoy View Post
    Have to pay for the hole in the canoe when you bring it back...
    piece of kayak

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    ^ Cheers...Shrewd punner...

  6. #6
    Your own Personal Jesus
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    Laborious, drab activity. If I saw a punt I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Pat View Post
    Laborious, drab activity. If I saw a punt I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole
    I agree, but it's a bit petty just to ban it.

    Why not license it, charge a fee and use it to defray council costs?

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