Since 1950, Stroud, like every other town in England, has had to cope with increasing numbers of cars. Access to junction 13 of the M5 has increased the volume of traffic through Stroud, as has the influx of new businesses to the area.
Of particular interest is the fact that the proposals in the 1970s to build a ring road led to widespread debate. There were public protests in 1975, about proposals which would have demolished buildings in the centre of Stroud as well as a substantial stretch of the canal.
The eventual route, proposed by the Stroudwater Canal Society (now the Cotswolds Canal Trust) and backed by Stroud District Council, made use of the old Midland Railway spur from Dudbridge to Cheapside and created less damage/effect on the line of the canal.