High Speed Two (HS2) between Birmingham and Manchester stands cancelled, following Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent announcement of a £36 billion investment in North’s existing rail network.

The news this week follows the November 2021 decision to axe HS2’s eastern leg from Birmingham to Leeds, a massive endeavour estimated to have cost between £30 to £40 billion.

The Birmingham to London Euston remains the sole leg of the government's high speed rail initiative to go ahead.

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Astonishingly, great swaths of England’s hamlets, villages, towns and cities including Staffordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cheshire, and Derbyshire, are grappling with the unexpected abandonment of the Manchester leg, reports Mail Online. 

Remnants of the now-defunct HS2 stand as stark silhouettes across England's landscapes.

Many locals have adjusted to the tumult caused by the HS2 construction even amidst uncertainties, Great Missenden's residents being a prime example.

According to the Mail Online, a mother had to dodge an HS2 lorry while on a school run.

Consequently, construction work which has been ongoing for four years now assumes a more alarming aspect.

Great Missenden residents Steph McLellan, 62 and Stuart McCurry, 75, assert that these activities transformed their area.

Zaria Stevens, 50, a South Heath resident, shared a distressing tale of recklessness on the part of an HS2 lorry driver.

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As the lorry drifted across lanes, a quick halt at the roundabout was the only thing that spared Stevens and her child a serious mishap.

Unfortunately, her complaints fell on deaf ears, as she couldn't provide the offending vehicle’s number plate.

It’s a common side effect of the disarray stemming from HS2 disruptions – something Stuart McCurry attests – the bond with the HS2 team deteriorating over time.

Ironically, McCurry isn't entirely opposed to the project.

He holds a belief that the project’s impact can only be judged in the rear-view mirror of history.

Great Missenden and surrounding areas have also faced environmental damage.

Locals including Steph McLellan have been greatly aggrieved by the rampant felling of many trees, which have forever altered the landscape.

She said: "She said: "It’s awful, the sight of it all, how they’ve decimated all the trees. On the journey to Wendover, I feel sad every time I drive by, it’s depressing. The trees have gone and they’re never going to be replaced." 

The travel times have increased dramatically due to congestion, reducing footfall in local shops and significantly impacting local taxi drivers' livelihood, including Mark Miller, 66, and Ali Amjad, 49.

The disruption, alas, shows no sign of subsiding, with several years of turmoil expected.

For those still holding on to properties, now seems an appropriate time to seek safer pastures.

The only certainty going forward – a fraught life with the ghost of the High Speed Two project in Britain.