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17 January 2012, 14:22
A new code of conduct is being put together for punt operators in Cambridge.
Cambridge City Council is producing the new guidelines, which will be voluntary, as part of a drive to improve the reputation of the punt industry.
It's after a City Council report following a survey into the punting industry said: "...on the whole, visitors (to Cambridge) did not feel that punt touting had an adverse effect, although a small but significant number felt that it did.
However a much larger proportion of residents / city centre workers and businesses felt that punt touting adversely affected their experience of the city centre and had a negative impact on their business."
The new code of conduct will aim to reduce rivalry between Cambridge's punt operators and prevent staff aggressively touting for business.
It will also seek to limit the areas in Cambridge where punt touts can operate.
A report to the Council's Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee, prepared by Emma Thornton, Head of Tourism and City Centre Management in Cambridge, said: "The Council should draft and promote a Code of Conduct for all companies operating commercially on the river.
The code would be used to promote best practice and limit touting to specific areas of Cambridge.
Although the code would be voluntary, those signing up to the code would receive a form of Kite Mark to indicate that they are operating to agreed standards.
The code of conduct would be compulsory for those companies wishing to have their tickets sold through the Tourist Information Centre and those operating from land owned by Cambridge City Council."
The new guidelines are now being developed by Cambridge City Council in consultation with punt operators, with a new version due to be published during the week commencing 23rd January.