The headmaster of a Teddington school has condemned plans to extend the 406 bus route, claiming it will endanger children travelling to school.

Ian McCann, of St John the Baptist School in Lower Teddington Road, said children would not be safe walking and riding bikes to school if the Kingston to Epsom service is allowed to extend along Broom Road and Normansfield Avenue.

Mr McCann added: There are three schools on this proposed route and the road already gets very congested at the beginning and end of each school day.

The headteacher believes that if the plans go ahead, there would be two buses travelling down the congested road every 15 minutes.

Cars parked along Broom Road only leave a narrow area for passing traffic and the corners leading into the road are tight. Traffic humps introduced to protect schoolchildren against speeding cars would be made less steep or even removed.

Mr McCann said: Motorists will see Broom Road as an attractive shortcut past the busy Kingston Road. We had the problem of speeding cars before the humps were in place. We would be putting our children at risk.

People living along the route are also unhappy. Tony Arbour, Greater London Assemblyman, has received more than 200 letters of complaint.

A spokesman for London Buses, the operator responsible for the service, said: We try to extend our bus routes to residential areas so we can serve as many people as possible.

Were still in the early stages of planning, letters will be sent to all houses on the route. People will be given the chance to have their say.

But Mr Arbour suspects there is another reason behind the plan.

He added: Kingston Road is already very well covered by the 281 and the 285 buses, which are just five minutes walk from Broom Road. Perhaps the bus company wanted to make more money with the 406 by making a detour.

By.Caroline Dutton