INSPIRED by his travels to India, Matt Jones bought a tuk-tuk to take on a challenge for charity which involved driving more than 1,000 miles around the UK.

From Abergavenny, he and a friend drove the three-wheeled vehicle nearly 500 miles to Fort William in Scotland, down to Scafell Pike, then to Snowdon and back to Monmouthshire - all while climbing the peaks of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in just four days to raise nearly £2,000 for the children’s cancer charity, CLIC Sargent.

Now Mr Jones’ beloved tuk-tuk is set to be the first such vehicle to hit the streets of Gwent, offering tours around the sights of Monmouthshire if a licensing application is approved by the county council on Thursday.

“It’s such a different way of seeing the world,” said Mr Jones, a taxi driver for Murray’s Mini Bus Hire.


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Matt Jones with his tuk-tuk

“With the sides down, you get a different perspective on the area where we live.”

The 45-year-old from Gilwern says it was the success of the charity challenge, combined with his love of travelling in tuk-tuks in India, which gave him the idea of setting up a business offering tours in Monmouthshire.

Ranging from one to four hours, the tours are planned to take in hills, castles and other sights around the county, operating between April and October.

They will mainly be based around Abergavenny, but some of the longer ones are also planned to take in other areas of the county such as Tintern Abbey.

Mr Jones is also hoping to work with wedding venues, pubs and hotels to offer the tours.

“I think it will be popular, especially with everything that’s going on,” Mr Jones said.

“It’s something novel, it’s something new.

“It’s about having a bit of fun at this time of sadness.”

The dad-of-one said some will ‘undoubtedly’ feel nervous about travelling in the vehicle, but he assures them it is a “steady drive”.

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Inside the tuk-tuk

“It’s surprising it’s not wobbly at all, especially at 30mph,” he adds.

Licensing rules will limit the Bajaj RE tuk-tuk to a maximum speed of 30mph and children under 16 will not be allowed to travel unless accompanied by an adult.

Tours will need to be pre-booked by visiting or emailing if the licence application is approved.