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20 July 2010, 06:00
Just a single punting operator in Cambridge has been given exclusive access to the city's most popular pontoon.
Scudamores, who've been in the city since 1910, have been awarded the monopoly lease at Quayside, forcing other operators to use Jesus Green or Mill Pond.
It's after Cambridge City Council recently settled land ownership disputes at Quayside. From that agreement, Scudamores were granted the single lease - putting into black & white, what had been an informal agreement for years.
But Sam Matthews from the Punting Company, told heart, it's going to hit competition: "Scudmores already seem to have a monopoly on one side of the river, this is going to increase their advantage still further."
Mr Matthews added "Ourselves and other punting operators don't feel it's fair competition, it's not good for us, it's not good for visitors and tourists and it's not good for Cambridge."
The Council say they promise to support and ensure independent punt operators have safe and accessible use to the River at the Council maintained Jesus Green site.
Councillor Neil McGovern told heart the council "will ensure punt operators are behaving appropriately towards the public, tackle agressive touting and improve public access for private punts and boats at Quayside as well".
Mr McGovern added "the Council promise to keep the situation under review".