The state opposition is stepping up pressure on the Transport Minister to come clean about the true extent of patronage since the introduction of the new timetable came into force for Newcastle buses.

The government continues to claim commuter numbers have increased since the new timetable and bus routes started in January, however Labor says Opal data contradicts this.

Newcastle MP, Tim Crakanthorp, Wallsend MP, Sonia Hornery, Charlestown MP, Jodie Harrison and Swansea MP, Yasmin Catley joined with residents outside the Hamilton bus depot on Friday morning to urge Transport Minister Andrew Constance to review the timetable and restore key routes across the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Local Government Areas.

A petition of 20,000 signatures is being presented to parliament next week, with a debate on the issue expected on Thursday.

Tim Crackanthorp says the situation is being made worse as more people get back in their cars for the city commute

“This week we had the Lee Wharf Parking Station closed down – that’s over 250 parking spaces. People want to use public transport…but the bus network is an absolute disaster,” he said.

Hunter Labor Mps Meet With Affected Residents Outside The Hamilton Bus Depot