'Fatal' Penzance level crossing is permanently closed

Image caption,
Jan Nicholls, 73, died after being hit by a train at the crossing in 2011

A railway crossing where a woman was hit by a train and killed is to be permanently closed.

The Planning Inspectorate ruled the Mexico Inn pedestrian crossing near Penzance should be closed for safety reasons.

Jan Nicholls, 73, died after being hit by a train at the crossing in 2011.

The Open Spaces Society said it was "dismayed" at the decision to close the path which it described as "extremely important".

In response to the decision Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: "In my view the safest level crossing is a closed level crossing."

However, Mr Carne said he accepted the "vital role" played by level crossings in "connecting communities".

'Risk increase'

"In this particular case it's somewhat inconvenient to have to walk a little bit up the road in order to use the barriered crossing," he said.

"But given that most people are going for a recreational walk I don't think the risk increase associated with the Mexico crossing justifies it remaining open."

The crossing was closed on a temporary basis in December 2012 after advice from the coroner.

The decision to close the crossing permanently was taken following an inquiry held in October 2014.

Rob Nance, chairman of Friends of Long Rock Mexico Crossing, said: "It's more for the people who just want to get across quickly and have a look at the bay, which includes a lot of elderly people who can't really make the other route."

The Open Spaces Society said the crossing was a popular route and needed by the public to gain access to the beach.

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary, said: "This path is extremely important for local people and visitors. With the other objectors we shall study the decision letter carefully and consider whether we can take the matter further."

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