MT 139/104

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London-Fishguard trunk road Port Talbot by-pass (M4)

Date range1967-1969
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries MT, subseries MT 139

Context

The Port Talbot section of the M4 is one of the archetypical brutalist motorway plans that could only have happened in the 1960s, demolishing houses like they were going out of fashion. As if the original construction (documented in MT 39/1061 and elsewhere) wasn't bad enough, even after the motorway was finished, houses were still being pulled down due to subsidence, and becoming unsellable because nobody wanted their upstairs bedroom to be within 30ft of a major motorway. The Ministry of Transport bought a number of properties, then after quite a bit of delay, and complaints of vandalism, decided to put them on the open market at a knocked down price.

Contents

The file contains various maps of properties that were blighted, including Hill Terrace which had changed from a nice mountain view owing to a large motorway being plonked in front of it, and Brynheulog Street, which was cut in two by the bypass. There are also a number of photographs of boarded up properties with a giant retaining wall in close view, and contemporary newspaper cuttings from the South Wales Echo.

People with copies

Ritchie Swann has the photographs, some reports on the properties and some newspaper cuttings