I live under the M4 motorway – my wife loves it but it leaves me exhausted and I’ll never get used to it | The Sun

A MAN who lives under the M4 motorway says it leaves him exhausted and that he'll never get used to it even though his wife loves it.

The roaring road runs on 45ft-high pillars over the town of Port Talbot, Wales, with its shadow looming over locals' back gardens.

Ritchie and his wife Joanna Care live in one of these houses with their young daughter Evelyn.

Joanna – who grew up in the home – says that she has become used to the traffic noise over time.

But husband Ritchie says that he will never truly adapt to his noisy surroundings after a completely different upbringing.

Whereas Joanna would spend her childhood using the shadows of the flyover as her playground, Ritchie's childhood consisted of days at the beach near Sandfields.

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He said: "I grew up on a beach, where you'd have the outdoor space to play football or go surfing.

"This is a far cry from what I'm used to. Even today, I can’t get used to the motorway in regards to the sounds."

He continued: "Four o’clock every morning, the lorries start doing their jaunt and then I wake up. Whether I go back to sleep or not is a different thing.

"I just can’t get used to the noise – whether the windows are double glazed or even triple glazed, it doesn’t matter.

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"I’m just used to serenity. I didn’t realise I was so sensitive to noise until I started living here."

The Port Talbot bypass – which runs for four and a half miles – was Wales' first motorway and opened in 1966.

It helped cut the journey time between Swansea and Cardiff by 20 minutes, but the futuristic-looking project came at a cost to the town itself as it saw the destruction of three chapels and more than 200 houses.

It was known locally as "the road on top of a town".

As a child, Joanna would spend most of her days with her sisters and their friends playing underneath the flyover.

In the shelter of the motorway, they would spend endless hours riding their bikes and building ramps.

Joanna said: "This is where I've always lived. It's never been a negative thing for me.

"My parents remember it being built as they were living here at the time.

"Obviously, the construction company had to get my parents' permission to have it going through their garden.

"I don't think anybody would have been particularly happy about it. The garden at one point used to go down to the river.

"Of course, you’d have them all working in the garden and when maintenance was involved, they’d have to come into the garden to do all of that.

"I actually remember men coming into the garden to do maintenance, they’d be up there in their trucks maintaining the underside and things like that."

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Sitting in the dining room of Joanna and Ritchie's house, you can barely hear the sound of near-constant traffic travelling along the motorway.

But when you walk through the house into the long garden, where the motorway’s pillars are located, you can hear the constant hum of traffic towering above.

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