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GMRAPS in detail

the scheme

All roads in Greater Manchester that are maintained through public funding (except motorways and trunk roads) require a permit to carry out work. Sometimes public roads are referred to as adopted roads and they are looked after by the ten local authorities of Greater Manchester.

Before the permit scheme, statutory undertakers (utility companies, transport authorities etc) informed local authorities when they intended to undertake works and each authority would deal with these differently. GMRAPS provides consistency between all the GM authorities as they must work to the procedures set out in the scheme document.

TfGM’s involvement is to administer the scheme, complete validation checks, and provide a consistent independent approach.


Permits

Not all works require a permit, only ones that are classed as ‘registerable’ works which can be found in the GMRAPS scheme document

Local authority and utility companies must have a permit in place before works can start on the highway. For emergency or urgent works these are provided retrospectively.

Organisations not classed as statutory undertakers must contact the local authority responsible for maintaining the highway and seek consent before they undertake works.

If permit applications are ambiguous or incorrect information is provided, the authority can refuse the permit. Permits can also have conditions attached, in order to minimise the disruption to residents and road users.

Works should not be carried out unless a site information board, displaying the permit reference number, is on-site for the duration of the works. This must clearly show the full permit reference number and organisation code or workstream. For example, if the organisation code is QZ001 then this would be the start of the reference such as QZ00112345ABCD. The board must be in a prominent position and placed so that it does not obstruct footways or carriageways but can be clearly read by pedestrians.


Application

The GMRAPS team’s priority is to balance the ability for works to take place and the disruption to the Greater Manchester transport network. As a result, there are occasions when a permit cannot be granted.

To minimise the chance that the application is rejected:

  • Follow the guidance given in the scheme document
  • Where advanced approval for any traffic management, parking restriction and/or Temporary Traffic Regulation Order or notice (TTRO) is required, include details in the application.
  • Make sure conditions that would be expected in the permit are in the application (e.g. times when using traffic signals are acceptable).
  • Consult the permit authorities to check if any other major works are planned - their quarterly co-ordination meetings are always a good start.
  • Remember that if traffic control (such as portable traffic signals) are required, they need additional consent from the local authority

Don’t forget that Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders (TTRO) are required to prohibit vehicles and pedestrians from using the highway. Only the local authority has the power to issue TTROs, and their details are in the external links section.

If there are conditions required by the permit authority that are not included in your initial application, it is likely that the authority will respond with a modification request. This is contingent on the authority being happy with the works going ahead on the chosen dates and the application fulfilling the rest of the criteria outlined in the scheme document.

On receipt of a modification request, the work’s promoter must then submit a modified application adding the condition. Work must only start when the modified application is granted.

We understand that things may change as work progresses. Examples of situations which may affect your application are outlined below:

  • If you require a change prior to works starting or need to change the permit type – you must cancel the originally granted permit and then submit a new application
  • If you need to extend your permit – you should send a duration variation application.
  • If your application is granted but an increase in duration moves the works into a different category – you will be required to pay the difference between the permit fee for the two categories as well as the permit variation fee.

Variations

Duration variation applications should be made as soon as possible and should include the reason for the extension. If there is less than 20% or two days (whichever is more) of the permit duration remaining, it is highly recommended that you contact the authority to inform them that you will be sending a duration variation. By doing this, it will allow discussions to take place and will minimise the delay. Your application could be rejected if it is too near to the end of the original duration, and applications must not be submitted after 4.30pm on the last day.

If an immediate works permit is issued and conditions are missing, an authority imposed variation (AIV) will be issued, clearly identifying the conditions required. An AIV is the recommended way to add conditions to immediate works, however they can also be sent if there is a change in circumstances once a permit has been granted. For instance, it may be necessary to change the agreed traffic management due to unexpected events or accidents on the highway.

Permits should only be revoked by the permit authority in exceptional or unforeseen circumstances, repeated breach of conditions or safety issues. For example, if there is industrial action, flooding, conflicting emergency work or network failure. Before revoking permits or submitting an AIV, authorities are advised to discuss the reasons with you.

Authorities should also be mindful of the timescales to implement the added conditions. However, if there are problems the promoter should contact the authority as soon as possible to discuss the working arrangements.


Eligibility

Highway works could happen at any time, and the scheme applies at all times. We may make reference to both calendar and working days, the difference is outlined below:

  • Working day- a day other than a Saturday, Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday or a bank holiday. Please note that any notice given after 4.30pm on a working day shall be dated as the next working day.
  • Calendar day- Monday to Friday with the time running from 12am to 11.59pm.

For notice purposes, working days are used. For example, a minor works notice starting on a Thursday, and using the full three-day duration, would have until Monday (Thursday, Friday, Monday are working days). However, if you are planning to work over the weekend this should be identified in the permit application.