The Conservatives are also promising to build ‘at least a million more homes, of all tenures, over the next parliament’.
Infrastructure spending pledges include £500m a year for local road maintenance, in what is being sold as ‘the biggest ever pothole-filling programme’, and an average of £780m a year on flood defences.
There is no manifesto commitment, however, to either of the UK’s two biggest planned infrastructure projects – HS2 and Heathrow expansion.
The manifesto says: “HS2 is a great ambition, but will now cost at least £81bn and will not reach Leeds or Manchester until as late as 2040. We will consider the findings of the Oakervee review into costs and timings and work with leaders of the Midlands and the North to decide the optimal outcome.”
On Heathrow, it says: “Parliament has voted in principle to support a third runway at Heathrow, but it is a private sector project. It is for Heathrow to demonstrate that it can meet its air quality and noise obligations, that the project can be financed and built and that the business case is realistic. The scheme will receive no new public money.’
Rail projects that the Conservatives claim to be supporting without reservation include Leeds-Manchester improvements and upgrades in Liverpool, Tees Valley, Hull, Sheffield and Newcastle.
The Conservative party’s primary pledge, however, above all else, is to complete the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union in January 2020 if it secures a pliable parliamentary majority.