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Fast and furious it isn’t – but as a way to get around York it is unique.

The tours

Tours start and end at the Memorial Gardens, Leeman Road

They last 30-45 minutes

Adults and teenagers £10, children (4-12) £6

More details

Meet York’s first tuk tuk, ready to give residents and tourists a very different way to see the city.

A tuk tuk is a three-wheeled electric vehicle which originated as a taxi in Thailand

New company York Tuktuks has invested in the city’s first two, both seating six passengers. They will soon be running regular 45 minute tours around the heart of the city.

Starting and finishing on Leeman Road, the route takes in attractions including York Minster, the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall and Clifford’s Tower.

‘It was fantastic’

Stephen Coldrick, 50, was inspired to set up the company after taking an electric tuk tuk tour on holiday in the Costa Del Sol last June – after back surgery prevented him from taking the more conventional donkey ride.

He said: “It was dead quiet; you could hear the driver talking. It was fantastic.”

Stephen resolved to purchase his tuk tuks from the same company. Each comes with a zero emissions electric engine.

He has also hired three drivers with an extensive local knowledge of both the ancient and recent history of the city of York.

The venture faced several problems with licensing and almost never progressed beyond an idea: originally Coldrick was told his application would not be considered until October.

“Well clearly that was just too long so I went to the office of the traffic commissioner in Leeds who were able to offer me a licensing option which was much more flexible.”

The perfect place

Tours start and finish at Memorial Gardens

Tours start and finish at Memorial Gardens

York Tuktuks are also planning to stage VIP racecourse tours. They can even get you to the church on time if you fancy a greener form of wedding day transport than a gas-guzzling limo.

The business is still only permitted a fleet of two tuk tuks and tours cannot deviate from the single preapproved route.

But Stephen is sure he’s on to a winner.

He said: “York’s a perfectly good place for tuk tuks.

“It’s not too hilly, it’s got a lot of stuff, a lot of history in a very small place. It’s just a great option.”

Jonathan van Kuijk

Jonathan van Kuijk

Jonathan became an undergraduate philosophy student at the University of York after mistranslating Descartes' cogito ergo sum to ‘ I think therefore I earn’. Now realising he needs some sort of income post graduation he has become Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper York Vision and writes about all things off campus too for YorkMix