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Infrastructure blog

4 takeaways for infrastructure from the Liberal Democrats election manifesto

10 June 2024

The ICE examines the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto and what it could mean for infrastructure if they were to be elected.

4 takeaways for infrastructure from the Liberal Democrats election manifesto
Ed Davey, party leader, launched the manifesto earlier today. Image credit: UK Parliament (licensed under CC BY 3.0 DEED)

It’s been just over two weeks since the prime minister called a general election for 4 July.

As the parties start publishing their manifestos, we’re now getting some idea of what their priorities would be, should they be asked to form the next government.

The Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) were the first of the political parties to publish theirs, with Ed Davey, party leader, launching it on Monday 10 June.

The 114-page document, titled For a Fair Deal, outlines a comprehensive plan for infrastructure development in the UK.

It emphasises the importance of investing in infrastructure to support economic growth, improve public services and tackle the climate crisis.

Here are the four key takeaways, and what it would mean for the infrastructure sector, should the Lib Dems be elected as the UK’s governing party and be given the chance to implement these plans.

1. Infrastructure investment

One of the key objectives of the Lib Dems’ infrastructure plan is to invest in sustainable transport networks by rolling out more charging points as well as cutting VAT on public charging to 5%.

The ICE has recommended that supporting infrastructure is required to help the public make the net zero-friendly choices that are needed.

The manifesto includes commitments to electrify all railway lines by 2030, covering investment in cycling and walking infrastructure, and improving public transport services.

The ICE has previously outlined the need to invest in active travel infrastructure through sustainable funding.

2. Reducing emissions through transport

The Liberal Democrats also aim to create more sustainable and accessible modes of transport for all and reduce carbon emissions from the sector.

The following reforms highlight the party’s commitment to reaching key net zero goals:

  • Make it cheaper and easier for drivers to switch to electric vehicles
  • Freeze rail fares and simplifying ticketing on public transport
  • Significantly extend how much of Britain’s rail network is electrified

The party also commits in its manifesto to place a moratorium (stopping activity) on expanding airports until a national capacity and emissions management framework is in place.

The ICE has previously set out the case for a national transport strategy, which outlined a strategic approach to transport planning that ensures the efficient management of emissions.

3. Prioritising renewable energy rollout

The Lib Dem infrastructure plan also includes commitments to invest in green energy infrastructure.

The party aims to speed up the transition to renewable sources and invest in storage technology to ensure a reliable and sustainable energy supply.

By making these investments, the Lib Dems aim to create new jobs and stimulate economic growth while reducing the UK’s carbon footprint.

4. Upgrading housing and existing infrastructure

Finally, the manifesto includes a commitment to invest in critical social infrastructure – such as hospitals, schools and affordable housing – to address the pressing needs of communities across the UK.

The Lib Dems also pledged to invest in upgrading existing infrastructure to ensure that it meets the needs of a modern and growing population.

The ICE has set out that reducing demand by improving energy efficiency in homes will bring down short-term energy costs while at the same time easing the scale of long-term capacity challenges.

ICE priorities for the next UK government

The ICE has recently outlined the priorities the next government should focus on, including reducing the UK’s carbon emissions, unlocking economic growth, adapting to climate change, and improving the lives of the public.

Find out more

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