South London families fear “highly dangerous” plans to extend a busy London bus route to their doorsteps, a council has been warned.

Transport for London will change route 281’s final stop under plans for a huge housing development on the site of old government offices and a famous pub in Surbiton.

Kingston Council green-lit the 950-home development from Meyer Homes in March 2019 after the site in Tolworth was left empty for almost 20 years.

Developer Guinness Partnership bought the scheme later that year and work began in 2021.

Travel plans for the site approved in 2021 include extending TfL’s 281 route from the stop behind Tolworth Tower across the roundabout to a new stop on Lansdowne Close next to Tolworth Train Station.

A statement with the plans said: “This will significantly enhance staff and visitor access to local bus services and will create a focal transport ‘hub’ on the edge of the development that will be highly accessible to those living and working across the site.” 

But the council’s south of the borough neighbourhood committee was asked on Tuesday (September 6) to rethink the route.

Resident Mr Robb, who did not give his first name, said Drayton Court residents are being “let down” as the “very busy” route will go “straight past their front door”. 

He called the plans “highly dangerous” and “a safety hazard”.

He said: “You’ll have a double-decker bus going round the roundabout, coming off onto the A3 slip road going west and immediately… [it] would have to stop to negate the very tight bend into Toby Way.

"Now if I was a driver behind that bus and I was a stranger to the area, I wouldn’t know that that bus is going to stop almost immediately and turn left into that… it’s highly dangerous.” 

He urged the council to ask TfL to extend the route around the business park on Cox Lane instead.

Lib Dem councillor Helen Grocott said the authority is “in dialogue” with TfL about the route.

She said: “No decisions have been made. Any potential changes to the route, as you know, would be subject to consultation with the public as well as those living nearby.

“But essentially I am minded to write to TfL and ask for clarification on what the current situation is with their current thinking in terms of their route and any bus stands.

"Then we can take it from there in terms of what action we may want to do and I’m very happy to bring that back to the committee next time in November.” 

The first phase of the development includes 211 homes. Future phases will see another 739 homes built.

Geoff Hobbs, TfL’s director of public transport planning, said: “We are always reviewing the bus network to ensure we respond to the changing demands on our network and to support growth such as new housing developments.

“The proposed changes to the 281 would provide a safe and sustainable form of transport for around 2,000 new homes from the new Signal Park development.

"We will be holding a public consultation later this year and we encourage everyone to get in touch to share their views and help shape our proposals.”