A Greater Manchester-wide scheme to reduce traffic delays and disruption by improving the way roadworks are coordinated, communicated and managed has been approved.
The Department for Transport has given Transport for Greater Manchester the go-ahead to launch the Greater Manchester Road Activity Permit Scheme (GMRAPS), on behalf of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the area's ten local authorities.
The first Joint Permit Scheme to be approved in England, it means that any organisation planning to carry out work on Greater Manchester's highway network, including roads, cycleways and footways, will need to apply for a permit first.
That permit, issued by a central administration team, will set out conditions for the work, which will be assessed and approved by the relevant local authority.
Applications can be rejected if the work is unnecessarily disruptive, and applicants will be subject to penalties if work overruns or conditions are not met.
TfGM will manage the administration of the permit process and ensure that roadworks are co-ordinated effectively between neighbouring districts, introducing a Greater Manchester-wide system of assessment and approval across district borders for the first time.
Lord Peter Smith, Chair of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: "The benefits of this scheme to Greater Manchester's residents, businesses, motorists and public transport users are obvious: with the co-ordinated approach that comes with GMRAPS, we'll be able to reduce disruption and travel delays caused by roadworks.
"The scheme will also encourage organisations, such as utility companies, to be more efficient in their forward planning and in completing their work on time, as they can be penalised for any overruns, and applications for work that would be unacceptably disruptive can be turned down.
"We're delighted that the DfT has approved the scheme, and look forward to launching it together with the ten Greater Manchester district authorities."