Being shorter and much easier to maintain than the Thames & Severn, the Stroudwater Canal remained economically viable into the 20th century.
However, the Stroudwater too had to face competition - first from the railways and then from lorries. This picture taken in the 1920s, shows a coal barge from Gloucester on the canal near Stonehouse. In the background are coal wagons on the railway.
Increasing problems were caused by the canal silting up. Commercial traffic effectively ceased in 1930s. The last commercial toll was paid in 1941.
Sadly, the structure of the canal was allowed to decay after the Second World War. Part of the canal near Ebley was filled to allow access to a rubbish dump - this has been reinstated. New roads like the M5 obstructed the canal. Meanwhile, an office block was built over the Thames and Severn Canal at Brimscombe Port.