THIS week, Buckingham MP Greg Smith writes exclusively to readers:

A significant proportion of my time since being elected to Parliament in December has been dedicated to making the case against HS2.

Along with over 60 Conservative colleagues, who formed the HS2 Review Group, we relentlessly lobbied Ministers, including the Prime Minister, to scrap HS2 on the grounds of cost, environmental damage and the impact on people’s homes, businesses and livelihoods.

We united voices against HS2 from along the route and off the route, north and south.

I share everyone’s anger and frustration at the decision made by the government last week to proceed with HS2.

I remain certain that across the work of the HS2 Review Group of MPs, no stone was left unturned in our efforts to persuade the government not to proceed with HS2, but to deliver other infrastructure projects to improve rail capacity.

With the decision now taken, I am determined to do everything possible to ensure those affected are treated fairly by HS2 Ltd and their contractors, not least those who have already surrendered land but not been fully paid for it.

The behaviour of HS2 Ltd to date has been risible, and so I am also calling on the Government to set up an independent body, with real powers, to monitor every aspect of the project to ensure communities receive the best possible mitigation and compensation.

This is in addition to the welcome announcement that there will be a full time Minister at the Department for Transport overseeing HS2.

That Minister will find themselves constantly lobbied by me, in person, in writing and through official Parliamentary questions – alongside my new role as a member of the Transport Select Committee.

Nothing will come close to making up for the devastation HS2 will bring, but it is critical that everyone is treated fairly going forward.