A WEALTHY businessman is being paid £6 a week by the taxpayer to drive his daughter to and from school.

The fee was agreed after Howard Millington was told four-year-old Molly-Anne could not attend another primary the family can "almost see" from their home.

Rather than attend Staplegrove Primary School, where her older brother used to go, Molly-Anne has been allocated a place at Norton Fitzwarren.

The rules state that a child aged under eight is expected to walk to school unless it is more than two miles away or the route is too dangerous to walk.

Although Norton is under two miles from the Millington's home, Somerset County Council agreed the Minehead Road is too busy for the youngster to cross.

Mr Millington said: "We were quite prepared to walk to Staplegrove, but the route to Norton is too dangerous.

"The county originally said they'd provide a taxi, but that would be far too expensive so they agreed to pay me 18p a mile for two trips a day.

"I don't need the money and I think it's wrong that they pay you to take your child to school.

"But there must be people missing out who are entitled to claim because the council doesn't publicise it very well. It makes you wonder how many people aren't getting paid."

Children are eligible for free school transport to their nearest of catchment school if they live further than two miles away - three miles for pupils aged over eight - or if they have exceptional medical or special educational needs that make it impossible for them to walk to school.

A Somerset County Council spokesman said: "We have a free school transport policy that we apply consistently and fairly.

"Officers will look at each child’s circumstances and arrange the most appropriate and cost effective form of travel to get the child to school.

"This may mean the child gets a bus pass for an existing route, a new bus route is considered or parents are offered a fuel allowance to take their child to school."

If parents want to check if they qualify for school transport or to apply, they should click here.