It seems you can’t trust the BBC these days!
I was a little sceptical when I read this article on the BBC website, but gave it the benefit of the doubt. Silly me. So it was left to that other world-renowned organ of record, the Plymouth Herald, to put the record straight:
Network Rail last night denied BBC reports that it was only considering the Okehampton route.
A spokeswoman said: “No firm decision has been made at this point.”
The wheels grind very slowly where rail investment is concerned; every project has to go through an eight-phase process called Governance for Railway Investment Projects, or GRIP. Does this sound like it might be a bit bureaucratic? Does it? Here are the phases:
- 1. Output definition
- What are we trying to achieve?
- 2. Feasibility
- Can it be done?
- 3. Option selection
- What’s the best way of doing it? This would be the point where they chose the best route.
- 4. Single option development
- Outline design
- 5. Detailed design
- Um… detailed design
- 6. Construction test and commission
- Well I think we’ve got the hang of this now
- 7. Scheme hand back
- Phew, nearly done
- 8. Project close out
- Who left this shovel here?
If you want more detail, NR/L1/INI/PM/GRIP/100 is yer man.
Any road up, as far as improving the resilience of rail links to the South West peninsula, I think it’s fair to say we’re at GRIP 0.