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Punting is back in business in Cambridge - but only on the upper River Cam

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Punting to granchester meadows. (36652565)
Punting to granchester meadows. (36652565)

Punts are back on the River Cam as Scudamore’s has reopened for business after it was forced to close for the first time in more than a century.

While the The Backs may still be off limits, Scudamore’s started operating from its Boatyard punt station on the upper river towards Grantchester on Friday (June 12).

It has stressed that for the safety of visitors and staff, it will be operating at a reduced capacity. Customers will also be required to book in advance.

Scurdamore’s, along with the rest of the Cambridge punt companies, was forced to close in March as the coronavirus forced the country into lockdown. The firm said the virus had achieved what two world wars and the Great Depression could not.

James Barton-Williams, operations manager at Scudamore’s, said: “Scudamore’s has been providing boat hire services to Cambridge residents and visitors for over 100 years, but the past three months have felt like an eternity. We’re just happy to be open again and to be able to bring back the simple pleasure of punting to the city.

“We’re also excited about our new booking system which should make the process of hiring a punt much simpler and less frustrating for our customers at the busy times of year."

Groups of up to six people from the same household can hire a punt from the Boatyard in Mill Lane, which, the firm says, has undergone a safety makeover. Changes include designated pedestrian routes, hand sanitiser stations and socially distanced hire briefings.

Bookings can be made online or the phone.

The firm hopes to operate along The Backs from next month.

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