MT 39/1061

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Date range1948-1952
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries MT, subseries MT 39


Like most post war plans for towns, Port Talbot needed a bypass. However, the imposing geography of a town sandwiched between docklands and mountains made things a little difficult. The option of going to the west was flatly rejected because the docks needed rejuvenating to bring badly needed employment to South Wales. So the only way was up against the mountain and flattening anything that got in the way, chapels and all.

Not surprisingly, the local council and residents were up in arms about it, and it stalled at the first public enquiry in September 1949. Of course, it eventually got built anyway and is now part of the M4. The road was planned as a motorway from the word go, though at this stage it was assumed it would still be the A48.


The file includes several hand drawn maps of Port Talbot, including several in-depth street plans ominously marking houses with an 'x' where they were to be met by the bulldozer. There's also an early plan of what's now M4 junction 40, which back then was an at grade roundabout with the A4107.

There are also numerous cuttings from local newspapers that follow the story of the planned route of the bypass and its fall at the public enquiry.

People with copies

Ritchie Swann has the maps and some newspaper cuttings