Almost all of the built-up areas in Whitchurch are accessed by motor vehicles using the five roads that intersect in Market Square. As this is also the hub of the bus routes and main through route for all traffic in the area, the centre of town is inevitably dominated by vehicles and busy roads during parts of the day.

The narrowness of these streets, coupled with increasing volumes of traffic, lead to serious congestion at peak times. Onstreet parking, large industrial and agricultural vehicles and deliveries to shops impede the flow of traffic and add to this congestion. Although this calms the flow, it can also stop it completely. The resulting start-stop traffic is unsatisfactory as it increases air and noise pollution and creates a safety hazard for pedestrians.