Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is GMRAPS?
GMRAPS is the Greater Manchester Roads Activities Permit Scheme.

Q. What is GMRAPS?
This Permit scheme will mean that anyone who has a Statutory right to work in the street will have to apply for a Permit before they begin working, except for in the case of emergencies, and the central administrative team will issue a Permit with conditions, which have been agreed by the relevant permit Authority, attached fixing the start and end dates and how the work will be carried out. We are launching the scheme in April 2013.

Q. Who is involved?
The 10 Greater Manchester Local Authorities - Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan, with Transport for Greater Manchester are all involved and are taking a bold and robust approach towards dealing with this important issue , along with a range of organisations including Utility Companies and Transport Authorities and the Local Authorities own Highway departments.

Q. What are the benefits?
The Permit scheme is expected to benefit residents, businesses and also visitors to Greater Manchester by delivering:

  • A consistent improvement in roadworks coordination.
  • A reduction in congestion on the highway network.
  • Provide the 10 Manchester Local Authorities with more control over activities on their highways networks
  • Reduce roadworks durations by 5% to 10%.
  • Efficiency savings through collaborative working.
  • Improved communication with all stakeholders who use the highway network.
  • A single register of all road work activities in Greater Manchester.
  • A single point of contact for everyone requiring works to be undertaken.

Q. How was it developed?
The Greater Manchester Road Activities Permit Scheme (‘GMRAPS’) was developed in accordance with regulation 3, of The Traffic Management Permit Scheme (England) Regulations 2007 and replaces sections of the existing Notice regime under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (‘NRSWA’).

The Permit fee income will be used by the 10 Permit Authorities of Greater Manchester for additional resources to better manage and coordinate these essential works and to minimise the congestion and disruption they cause. The new regime will also require the 10 Local Authorities to permit their own works (Permit Fee not applicable) so all works on the highway are treated equally and coordinated together. GMRAPS has been developed to apply to all adopted roads throughout Greater Manchester and therefore will operate within the districts of Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.

Q. How do I contact GMRAPS?
Please refer to the Contact Us section for key contacts, telephone numbers and email addresses, or to just send us a general enquiry or suggestion as to how to improve the service. 

Technical FAQ’s / Issues

Permit Applications

Q. Can a promoter raise a variation against a refused provisional advanced authorisation (PAA)?
Some EToN systems allow either the original application to be amended or a new application to be created from the original application. When this is transmitted to the Authority, a new PAA application will be received.

Q. What process is to be adopted where conditions required by the permit authority are not included on the initial permit application?
The authority will refuse the application and advise which conditions need to be included on the application. The Promoter will then submit an application which includes the GMRAPS conditions requested by the Scheme. The CSC will review the application and then the relevant Permit Authority will grant this application. This step grants the permit and the promoter will be charged a permit application fee.

Q. What process will be followed where the Authority challenges the duration of immediate works?
In the first instance the Authority will grant the immediate application (assuming all other aspects of the application are acceptable) and then issue an Authority Imposed Variation setting out the revised duration with reasons. If this revised duration is acceptable to the Promoter, the Promoter will submit a Works Duration Variation reflecting the revised end date. This will be granted by the Authority and no charge for this variation will be levied against the Promoter.

If the promoter does not accept the revised duration, the two parties will discuss the issue and agree a resolution. The two parties will agree which system transactions are to be used to ensure the permit dates reflect these discussions. As a minimum, the use of EToN comments should be considered as this provides an audit trail for both parties.

Q. What process will be used for getting permits granted first time that may include other Permissions (e.g. parking bay suspensions or Temporary Traffic Orders)?
Where advanced approval for any traffic management, parking restriction and/or traffic regulation order or notice is required this must be noted within the application. It is acknowledged that a permit may be granted (particularly in the case of a PAA), prior to any necessary order or approval being in place. In these circumstances, it is a condition (see Scheme Conditions) of the Permit Application that no activity, or part of the activity for which the necessary order or approval is required, can commence without the necessary order or approval in place. It is the works promoter’s responsibility, as part of their design function to source these approvals.

Q. Can clarification be given for the difference between working days and calendar days, particularly when a Promoter wishes to work at a weekend?
A 3 day minor permit starting on a Friday and finishing on a Tuesday, including weekend working – will be charged as a minor permit. If works are to take place over the weekend the permit must clearly show this under “Site Occupation” by having the box checked against “outside working hours”. If this is not checked, weekend working will not be taking place.

Q. What is the latest time a promoter can submit a variation application without the need for an early start agreement?
Prior to the agreed works start date, variation applications can be submitted against any granted permit up two working days before the agreed start date. After works have started on site, variations can be submitted up to two days before the agreed end date or if there is more than 20% of the duration remaining (whichever is greater). For those permits that have a validity period, the duration of the works will be a condition when granting the permit application and this will be considered when reviewing a variation application that requests to change the duration of the works.

Q. What process should be adopted if the category of works changes e.g. minor to standard?
In the event of the promoter requiring an extension to the duration of the works – prior to works start - that moves the permit type into another category e.g. minor to standard, the promoter must cancel the originally granted permit and then submit a new application. Variation applications must not be used. Similarly, if the previously agreed traffic management changes to a road closure this moves a permit into the major category if currently a minor or standard. Therefore the promoter must cancel the originally agreed permit and submit a new PAA and permit application for major works. If a promoter requires an extension following works start, that moves the permit into a different category there will be no need to cancel the permit and a standard comment will be sent by the Permit Authority to the promoter advising that these works have moved into a different category and that the appropriate category will be charged along with the cost of the variation.

 Q. When is the latest day the Promoter can advise of the actual start and how is this done?
Once the activity has begun, a Notice of Actual Start of an activity must be given by 10.00am the next working day on category 0, 1, 2 and traffic-sensitive streets and by the end of the next working day (4.30pm) in the case of category 3 and 4 non traffic-sensitive streets. In the case of immediate activity the permit application will be taken as the actual start date notice as it is made after the activity has commenced, and the status will always be “In Progress”.

Q. When can works start for permits with a validity period?
Validly periods apply to Category 3 and 4 streets that are non traffic sensitive and are 2 working days for minor works and 5 working days for standard and major works. Works on all other category street i.e. 0, 1, 2 and traffic sensitive streets must start on the start date of the permit unless a variation is agreed by the Permit Authority.

Q. What process should be adopted for the notifying of works that take place outside of the scope of the original agreed Permit? i.e. work needs to take place over a weekend but the out of hours working box has not been ticked.
If works take place over a weekend/outside normal working hours and this was not identified in the original permit, an immediate permit must be submitted by 10am Monday morning/following working day. The only way the utility can legally occupy the network outside of the existing agreed permit is to raise an immediate permit. It is expected that this will only be required in exceptional circumstance where the occupation could not have otherwise beenforeseen.

Q. EToN 5 does not allow a promoter to amend the conditions of a permit after a works start notice has been submitted. There may be reason to amend permit conditions as a result of a compliance inspection or revised working methods.
The works promoter must submit a works data variation and use the free text field to clearly state the conditions that have been amended.

Q. Prior to the submission of, and granting of a Major Permit Application, EToN systems do not allow an Authority to revoke a provisional advanced authorisation (PAA).
The Authority will contact the works promoter to discuss the situation and the reason for the revocation. Upon agreement, the works promoter will cancel the granted PAA. With agreement, the promoter will submit a new PAA with revised start and end dates.

Q. The current Permit Scheme regulations do not provide specific guidance for the cancellation of unwanted or unused permits.
The Authorities will encourage all works promoters to adopt the best practice of submitting a permit cancellation notice for any or all unwanted or unused valid permits or PAAs. Promoters are reminded that information of proposed works are in the public domain and this should reflect the actual status of the works at all times. The Authorities will monitor compliance to this via operational performance reporting.

Q. In what situations will the Authority use either an Authority Imposed Variation or Revoke a Permit?
1 - In the event of an incident on the network, the Authority will contact the Promoter to advise them of the situation. The Authority will then submit an AIV to the Promoter describing the required changes e.g. revised start and end dates. The Promoter will then submit a Variation reflecting the required changes e.g. change of dates. The Authority will not charge the Promoter for this transaction;
2 - If the promoter is found to be in minor contravention of the terms of the permit, after works have started on site, the Authority will contact the Promoter to advise them of the situation and agree plans to rectify the situation on site. If required, the Promoter will then submit a works data variation application and the Authority will charge for processing this transaction;
3 - If the Promoter is found to be in serious breach of either the terms of the permit or agreed working practices e.g. health & safety, after works have started, the Authority will contact the Promoter to advise them that the Permit is to be revoked and the site must be made safe and cleared. The Authority will then issue a Permit Revocation. The Promoter will then submit a new permit application, making clear reference to the permit number of the revoked permit. This application, if granted, will attract a fee.

Q.  When will a works promoter be charged for a granted provisional advance authorisation (PAA)?
The fee for a granted PAA will be charged to the Works Promoter account at the time of the receipt of the Major Permit Application. (Part 6, paragraph 30 of The Traffic Management Permit Scheme (England) Regulations 2007 provides further information).

Q. What should be contained within the permit number displayed on site?
The Promotor is required to display the full permit reference numbers including the organisation code, it is however an optional requirement to display the works sequence number.

For example, a full number may be AB100 1000061815 .2 where AB100 is the organisation code, 1000061815 is the works/permit number and .2 is the sequence number. It is acceptable to display AB1001000061815 in this example.

It is recognised that permit reference numbers displayed on side must include the organisation codes, system generated numbers, sequence numbers and the works/permit number entered by the applicant.

Q. Fixed Penalty Notices for breach of conditions or working without a Permit
The penalty to be £500 for working without a permit if paid within 36 days, discounted to £300 if payment is made within 28 days. For breaching a condition the penalty is £120 if paid within 36 days, discounted to £80 if payment is made within 28 days.