A GWYNEDD councillor is one day away from completing a 230-mile walk from Bangor to Cardiff as part of a campaign to re-open rail links between south and north Wales.

Elfed Wyn ap Elwyn, 26, from Trawsfynydd, Plaid Cymru councillor for Bowydd and Rhiw, Blaenau Ffestiniog, is following the rail corridors of Afon Wen, Cambrian, Aberystwyth to Carmarthen and the Great Western to Cardiff line to raise awareness of the need for a better public transport system to unite Wales and also link with the rest of the UK.

His journey can be followed using Traws Link Cymru’s live tracking map. Elfed is a member of the Traws Link 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 started his journey in Bangor early on Sunday, 17 September and aims to take just 10 days to finish the walk, aiming to arrive in Cardiff today, Wednesday, 27 September.

He has walked from Bangor to Penrhyndeudraeth, Penrhyndeudraeth to Barmouth, Barmouth to Machynlleth, Machynlleth to Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth to Lampeter, Carmarthen to Swansea, and Swansea to Bridgend-Ogmore.

Today, Tuesday, 26 September, he will walk from Bridgend to Penarth 26 and tomorrow, Wednesday, 27 September, he will finish his journey by walking from Penarth to Cardiff Bay where a petition will be presented to the Senedd. Elfed, who is married to Anwen is the father of 15-month-old twins 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 will 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 – when 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.

“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.”

He added: “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, 12,700 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 today, Wednesday, 27 September – the day Elfed arrives at the end of his epic journey in Cardiff Bay.