An Upavon mum has been forced to drive her children to school in Pewsey because of what she describes as a sorry tale of bureaucracy over common sense.

Nikki Montefiore and her family moved from Pewsey to Upavon three years ago, but because she didn’t want to disrupt the education of her daughters Emily, nine, and Lucy, eight, the girls continued at Pewsey Primary School.

In the meantime Upavon Primary School closed and some pupils were bussed over to Pewsey free of charge. When Mrs Montefiore asked for her children to be given places on the bus, she was told it would cost nearly £170 a term for the two girls.

Meanwhile, many of the girls’ classmates travel on the bus free of charge.

So Mrs Montefiore decided that was too much for such a short journey and continued to carry her children to school in her car.

She now finds herself in the situation of driving behind the bus that has empty spaces her children could fill.

She wrote to Wiltshire Council: “Please can you explain to me the common sense reasoning why the council are discouraging people from using the bus by charging so much for spare seats, when the authorities are supposedly encouraging us all to go green and keep cars off the road?”

The response from Tazril Tamin, the council’s education transport entitlement manager, surprised her. He said that the primary school bus was not the only option and the girls could travel on the secondary school bus, although this would cost even more.

Mrs Montefiore said: “To put two little girls onto a bus with teenagers of up to 17 would be a terrifying thing to do. I don’t know why he even mentioned it.

“The point is that my children are being priced off school transport, making me add to congestion on the roads. It is bureaucracy gone mad.”

The council said that the children being given free transport were those transferred to Pewsey Primary after Upavon Primary closed. Mr Tamin told Mrs Montefiore: “The council had an obligation to ensure they could continue to access their education at the newly designated school.”