As a step towards the construction of a comprehensive model for damaged composites, the deformation of transversely cracked laminates is analysed. The approach is based on a generalised plane strain approach and uses the finite strip method which allows general lay-ups of laminates rather than just cross-ply to be considered. General loading is treated. In addition, the method permits a more flexible control to be exercised between accuracy and the extensiveness of the calculations than can be achieved using existing analyses. This method could be integrated with the finite element analysis of structures to allow for changes in the effective material properties of locally damaged regions. Results produced by the approach are compared with those available in the literature and good agreement is demonstrated.