There has been outrage after HS2 asked the public to name two machines which will drill under the Chilterns during construction of the controversial project.

HS2 asked members of the public to choose the names for their first two giant tunnelling machines that will dig through 10 miles of the Chilterns.

The vote will pick the names of the first of 10 huge tunnel boring machines (TBM) that will excavate more than 35 miles of tunnel on the first phase of the project between London and the West Midlands.

The enormous, 2,000 tonne, 170 metre long machine will be one of two that will dig the 10 mile long Chiltern tunnels.

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Many residents were shocked with the vote and came back with names for the machines such as ‘not wanted’, ‘crash and burn’ and ‘waste of money’.

Readers have previously been upset with the HS2 construction continuing despite the coronavirus pandemic which has caused financial issues for the UK.

Another reader said: “The post-CV19 world is a different place.

“Companies have successfully adapted to home working and many/most will be reducing office space/costs and not requiring people to commute even within London, let alone from the north.

“The case for HS2 is even weaker than before.”

Another added: “Yes, let’s all name a machine that’s literally going to destroy our beautiful countryside.”

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Their names are being chosen now so they can be fixed to machines during their manufacture, ready for when they emerge out of the factory.

After completion the first two machines will be disassembled before beginning their long journey to England.

Once they have arrived on site, each TBM will be reassembled.

Reader John Cameron said the competition is “like a Trumpish joke”, adding: “The risible idea that anyone would really want to christen a boring machine which is about to devastate parts of the Chilterns is ludicrous, and it would be an insult to name one after Marie Curie or Florence Nightingale.

“Their work was eminently more important, to mention them in the same sentence as HS2 is patently absurd.”

HS2 chief Mark Thurston said the project would deliver “high capacity, low carbon high speed travel for millions”.