The Port Talbot bypass was Wales’ first motorway, and the first link in what became the modern day M4. Hailed as a major engineering achievement upon its opening in 1966, it also required the demolition of large swaths of the town, and the displacement of hundreds of people from their homes and businesses. While considered a sign of progress, the shortsightedness of its design features and placement through the town has begun to show through the following decades. The motorway's expansion coincided with a decline in the steel industry, slowly emptying out the nearby Port Talbot Steelworks, which had once been at the center of the town's success. Today, the presence of the motorway and uncertain future for the nearby Tata Steelworks weighs heavily on the residents of Port Talbot. Their town has become a place most people only see while driving by, on to more glamorous destinations. Bypassed is an exploration of the lasting effects of the motorway on the physical and psychological landscape of Port Talbot.
The multimedia project can be viewed at: www.ptbypassed.com