The main parties have now launched their manifestos ahead of the General Election on 7th May. We bring you the main points from each one relating to a key part of our own manifesto – rural services. Read our own manifesto chapter on rural services here. 


  • Invest £13 billion in road improvements and extensions
  • Electrify the main rail routes and continue support for HS2
  • Secure the future of 3,000 rural post offices
  • End new subsidies for onshore windfarms and change the law so that local people have the final say on windfarm applications


  • Increase the local government budget by £10 billion to allow councils to restore essential local services
  • Re-nationalise the railways and scrap the Government’s support for HS2
  • Significant investment in bus transport in rural areas
  • Introduction of 20mph and 40mph speed limits on rural roads


  • Safeguard the public interest in Royal Mail by keeping the remaining 30% in public ownership
  • Support the Universal Service Obligation ensuring competition does not undermine it and introduce protections as necessary
  • Abolish Police and Crime Commissioners and introduce a new statutory local Policing Commitment
  • Continue support for HS2

Lib Dem

  • Electrify the main rail routes, reopen smaller stations and continue support for HS2
  • Support the Universal Service Obligation and no further post office closures in the next Parliament
  • Introduce ‘retained’ police officers available to respond when needed to increase police presence in rural communities
  • Continue the fuel discount scheme for remote areas and extend it to additional remote areas with high fuel costs
  • Develop the Community Budgets model for use in rural areas to combine services, helping to keep rural services like GP surgeries, pharmacies, post offices and libraries open
  • Encourage onshore wind in appropriate locations


  • Scrap the Government’s support for HS2
  • Reduce the number of Police and Crime Commissioners
  • Amend the smoking ban to give pubs the choice to open smoking rooms
  • Scrap all subsidies for wind and solar power
  • Abolish the Barnett Formula for Scotland funding