A GROUP calling for the reopening of railway lines in Wales has welcomed that their campaign will now be debated by the Senedd.

At a meeting of the Petitions Committee in the Senedd, members agreed that the petition to reopen former rail links between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen and Afonwen in Gwynedd should go forward for a full debate in the Senedd.

The 13,000-name petition was submitted by Elfed Wyn ap Elwyn who last year walked 206 miles from Bangor to Cardiff as part of the campaign.

Traws Link Cymru chair Mike Walker said: “This is a major step forward for the campaign.

“Moreover, it is encouraging to see that a feasibility study, like that carried out on the Aberystwyth to Carmarthen railway line is now to be undertaken on the connection from Afon Wen to Bangor in north Wales.”

The cost of reopening the lines is estimated to be £2bn over 10 years.

While it was accepted that this is a large sum, the committee noted that this was half of the money due to Wales under the Barnett formula following the termination of HS2.

No timetable was set for the debate in the Senedd, but it expected later this year.