An innovative online system to speed up and simplify the process of applying for permission to work near a tramway is set to enter the final stages of development.
Funded by UKTram, the Authority to Work (ATW) website portal and an associated app are being developed in partnership with Derby-based company Codemakers following preliminary work carried out by Edinburgh Trams.
Ahead of network expansion to Newhaven, the operator had been looking at a web-based system to streamline the process and joined forces with the light rail sector’s representative organisation to develop a comprehensive solution, Permit+.
Jamie Swift, Marketing and Commercial Manager at UKTram, explained: “This innovative project represents another fantastic example of the sector working in partnership to develop a system that will help the sector better manage resources while maintaining the highest safety standards.
“It significantly updates and improves the ATW process, and in Edinburgh it will help the tram operator to safely and efficiently manage an increased workload.”
Using Permit+, applicants can enter details of their works, safety mitigations and any relevant documents such as plans, risk assessments and method statements. Engineers can then check the application and request further information, if required, before issuing a digital permit that can be stored on any electronic device.
Different types of permits can be issued including for works where an electrical isolation is required and annual permits for regular jobs such as grass cutting and window cleaning.
“Alongside the development of the portal, where applicants can also pay for their ATW permit, the project has also included the commissioning of a fully integrated mobile app,” Jamie said. “This allows engineering staff to access all applications from their mobile phone, when they are out and about around the network carrying out on-site checks.”
Easily adaptable to meet the individual requirements, processes and procedures of different operators, Permit+ is expected to be made available sector-wide later this year and is currently undergoing an implantation phase in Edinburgh ahead of an official launch in April.
Antony Stevenson, Managing Director at Codemakers added “We have applied digital transformation in projects across many sectors, and are excited to bring this expertise to light rail.
“Permit+ simplifies the application process, facilitating information sharing and access across the entire process – from the initial application to works being carried out. We look forward to rolling out this technology across the sector later this year.”