TOURS operated by tuk-tuk vehicles could be allowed in Monmouthshire under proposed changes to the council’s taxi and private hire policy.

Council chiefs have drawn up plans to revise licensing conditions after the local authority received its first request to licence the three-wheeled vehicles.

Under the plan, Gwent’s first tuk-tuk will operate on designated tour routes in the county, transporting up to two passengers on sightseeing trips.

Any further applications to use the vehicles in Monmouthshire would be decided on a case by case basis.

“Tuk Tuks and Rickshaws can be ideal for promoting tourism and sightseeing within Monmouthshire,” a council report says.

“There are currently none operating in the Gwent area, with the nearest being licensed in Cardiff.”

Conditions will be put in place as tuk-tuks have “far fewer safety features than standard cars”, a council report says.

Under the plan, the vehicles will only be used for special occasions and pre-booked business.

They will be limited to a maximum speed of 30mph, and “specific care” must be exercised when using trunk roads.

However the vehicle will not be allowed on dual carriageways or motorways.

Use of the tuk-tuk will also not be allowed if the weather causes hindrance to its stability, and passengers must wear a lap belt.

Children under 16 will not be allowed to travel unless accompanied by an adult, and those under four will not be permitted.

The vehicles will also need to be kept in good condition, and they must come with a warning device such as a bell or horn, and have a watertight roof covering.

The particular tuk-tuk put forward for a licence is fully road legal, holds a valid MOT and has also passed a taxi vehicle test at an approved Monmouthshire garage.

It has a top speed of 37mph.