§ Mr. Challen
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to encourage freight traffic on the Manchester to Leeds trans-Pennine rail links. 
§ Mr. Jamieson
Our policy is to help establish an integrated, sustainable freight distribution system throughout the country to support economic growth and to bring social and environmental benefits. We set out our long term strategy in our 10-year plan and have established the Strategic Rail Authority with a duty to promote rail freight. The SRA's Strategic Agenda and Freight Strategy, published earlier this year, set out its plans for freight, and include proposals for delivering growth on trans-Pennine routes. The SRA will describe further how its freight objectives will be achieved in its soon to be published Strategic Plan.