Councillor to walk from Bangor to Cardiff in campaign to re-open rail link
A Gwynedd councillor will walk 230 miles from Bangor to Cardiff as part of a campaign to re-open rail links between north and south Wales.
Plaid Cymru councillor for Bowydd and Rhiw, Elfed Wyn ap Elwyn will follow the rail corridors of Afon Wen, Cambrian, Aberystwyth to Carmarthen and the Great Western to Cardiff line.
His intention is to raise awareness of the need for a better public transport system to unite Wales and also link with the rest of the UK.
Elfed’s journey can be followed using Traws Linc Cymru’s live tracking map.
He is a member of the Traws Linc Cymru campaign group which wants to see a train network re-established in west Wales and to reunite communities in both north and south Wales – saving people hours of extra time having to travel through England as it currently stands.
Elfed will start his journey by leaving Bangor early on the morning of Sunday, September 17 and will finish 10 days later in Cardiff on September 27.
He will walk from Bangor to Penrhyndeudraeth and pause to attend council meetings then he will walk from Penrhyndeudraeth to Barmouth before travelling on to Machynlleth the next day.
He will then make his way to Aberystwyth then on to Lampeter. Next he will walk from Carmarthen to Swansea before making his way to Bridgend.
From there he will walk to Ogmore, then Penarth and will finally finish his journey in Cardiff Bay on September 27.
Elfed said: “I really want to see the railways re-opening because I want to see the communities that have lost touch with each other from the time of the Beeching (cuts) to be re-connected again.
“I would like to see a community like Tregaron be part of a rail network and Penygroes being linked with Caernarfon again. I think the connections between communities have distanced since the railways were axed.
“Rural Welsh communities need to be reconnected which would be a positive development for the economy and the language as well.”
Elfed believes it would be possible for someone to travel from north Wales to Cardiff within a few hours – and complete a return journey easily within a day in the future – if the rail system is improved.
He said: “It’s ridiculous that we have to travel in the shape of a reversed C if we want to go from Bangor to Cardiff – from Bangor to England and down the Marches towards Cardiff. It’s crazy.”
He added: “I want them to be able to maybe catch the train in Penrhyndeudraeth to go to Cardiff rather than having to have a car or if they want to go to Bangor that they can use the train.
“I want to develop Wales into a confident and prosperous country in which to live in so that we connect Wales internally rather exist as some cupboard under the stairs for Westminster as it is at the moment.
“If you want to join me on my walk or can offer me a place to stay for the night along the way, I would be very grateful!”
So far, 11,447 people have already signed a petition started by Elfed calling for rail links to be re-opened to re-connect north and south Wales.
The petition will be presented to the Welsh Parliament Petitions Committee on Wednesday, September 27 – the day Elfed arrives at the end of his epic journey in Cardiff Bay.
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