RESIDENTS living in Newcastle's western suburbs are calling on the state government to improve bus services.
More than 700 locals have signed a petition requesting that the 235 bus route be expanded throughout Maryland and Fletcher and out to Minmi.
Minmi Progress Association secretary Clarice Hamling said residents want the 235 bus route extended by about four kilometres.
The 235 bus runs 15 times a day Monday to Friday, 11 times a day on Saturdays and 10 times a day on Sunday.
Minmi is serviced by the 260 bus to Newcastle university through Hunter Valley Buses, which starts its journey in Minmi five times a day on weekdays, three times a day on Saturdays and twice a day on Sundays and public holidays.
An extension of the 235 route would provide Maryland residents with a direct link to the Newcastle CBD seven days a week via Jesmond, North Lambton, Waratah, Hamilton North, Hamilton and Marketown in King Street.
Ms Hamling said cars had become a necessity for both the young and old in Minmi.
"Minmi is supposed to be the gateway to Newcastle. But in reality the gate is shut," she said.
"I've been living in Minmi for 21 years and it's very difficult to raise children here without a car."
Ms Hamling said it would be ideal if residents could get to their destination without having to catch multiple buses.
"It would be great if the elderly people could catch just one bus and get to the Mater Hospital or go to Glendale to do their shopping," she said.
Wallsend state MP Sonia Hornery said she supported the residents' petition and would present it to the NSW Parliament later this month.