HS2 representatives did not acknowledge local outrage over a competition to name two tunnelling machines which will dig under The Chilterns.

The Bucks Free Press posted an original article outlining the vote, in which the public has the chance to name the machines.

This received much criticism as HS2 is already a controversial subject in the area.

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When asked for comment on the mixed reaction about the naming contest, a HS2 representative said: “We have been delighted by the interest shown in our TBM naming vote and we are grateful to all the schools who took part, including Chalfont Community College in Bucks, and the children who chose the names.

“HS2 is already providing thousands of jobs and work for thousands of British businesses, and with this vote we hope HS2 can also help inspire a generation to get interested in engineering and science.”

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

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.

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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.”