The line from Birmingham to Manchester is still not certain to happen but villages lying in its path have already had to contend with huge disruption. Long-standing businesses have been closed while some have been forced out of their homes.
Now it emerges it could all be for nothing after a new report cast more doubt on the future of phase 2b of the scheme amid speculation of spiralling costs.
Angry villagers in Woore, in Shropshire, live close to the proposed line, which passes along the Staffordshire-Shropshire border. They have been protesting about the fact hundreds of lorries could descend on them every week as part of construction work, and have urged HS2 to ‘stop the war on Woore’.
They say increased traffic would have a major impact on the village, claiming there would be 500 lorries a day clogging up the A51 and A525.
Further south, Hopton in Staffordshire is one of those villages that stands directly in the path of the current planned route of HS2 and faces being “cut in half”. Residents have been turfed out of homes snapped up by HS2 ready for demolition while the much-loved Packington Moor Farm shop has had to close.
June Brown-Bullivant, vice-chairman on the parish council, said residents were hoping Boris Johnson may yet scrap the Birmingham to Manchester line or change its course. She said: “It will be disastrous for Hopton. Of course, we can’t sell our properties. No-one wants to come and live in Hopton and they’ve lost their value on their properties. There is a lot of sorrow.
"People bought properties to stay here for the rest of their lives. There are quite a number of people in Hopton who have moved out. It’s breaking up the community. We’re losing friends.“We are keeping our fingers crossed that Boris will decide to either delay it of go ahead with a different way.”