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Residents urge Cornwall Council to reopen railway crossing in Long Rock

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

  • Public meeting by The Friends of Long Rock Mexico Crossing. Standing room only as locals pack the memorial hall. PZPM20120110C-002_C.JPG

  • Chairman of FOLRMC Rob Nance addresses the packed meeting. www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/buyaphoto

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A PUBLIC meeting about the closure of a popular railway crossing in Long Rock attracted more than 200 people last week, days after an alleged assault on a Network Rail employee working on it.

Those in attendance at the meeting in the Long Rock Memorial Institute agreed unanimously to reopen the crossing, which shut last month following an inquest in to the death of Jeanette Nicholls.

However, those chairing also condemned the alleged assault of a Network Rail employee on Sunday, January 6, as well as two other reports of criminal damage to locks blocking off a gate to the crossing.

Mrs Nicholls, a 73-year-old grandmother and regular user of the Mexico foot crossing, was struck by a train and killed on it in October 2011.

Following an inquest in to her death last month, in which the coroner recommended closing it, Cornwall Council enforced an emergency closure request from Network Rail.

The move means the crossing, which is 200m up the line from a level crossing, will remain closed until a decision is made on how to improve its safety or to close it.

Helen Enyon, committee member of the Friends of Long Rock Mexico Crossing (FOLRMC), said the council should keep the crossing open during the examination of the issues.

"FOLRMC has looked at the evidence on the risks and concluded that in 160 plus years there have been no deaths at all that were attributable to risky features of this crossing," she said. "The coroner gave an opinion that the crossing should be closed without any adequate investigation of the local impacts.

"Parents teach their children every day to cross safely here and this will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. You cannot create safety by shutting people in a padded cell – in the end they will set it on fire."

Mrs Nicholls' death followed five near-misses and two other incidents to have occurred at the crossing since 2007. A detailed investigation in to its safety was carried out by the Rail Accident Investigation Board following the accident.

The grandmother's family have consistently supported the closure of the crossing following the coroners' recommendation last month.

A Cornwall Council spokesperson said: "As we have not yet had the opportunity to review all the evidence presented to the Deputy Coroner we are relying on his recommendation that the crossing should be closed.

"When we have all the available evidence we will consider all the options for the crossing including that of closure."

Ludgvan Parish Council has agreed to support the villagers who want the crossing to remain open.

The criminal damage is believed to have taken place between 5.40pm and 11.18pm on January 5 and before 12.44pm on January 14. The alleged assault was said to take place at 10.33am on January 6.

Contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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  • The Rhythm Balladeer  |  February 07 2013, 2:42PM

    Once again the narrow minded busybody bureaucrats have marched their jackboots over an issue which is clearly nothing more than a repercussion from an unfortunate accident way back in October 2011. The crossing has been used over a million times since the first half of last century and now the walk towards Marazion from the residential area of Long Rock is far more dangerous than ever. How clever is that? When someone gets killed on that road will Network Rail or Cornwall Council accept responsibility in full knowledge that they have now increased danger to pedestrians by closing the Mexico railway crossing in the village? In 2012 Network Rail announced that £130 million was to be spent on safety measures and in a letter dated November 12th 2012 sent to local residents they announced that they were about to undertake improvement works at the crossing quoting "Safety is our number one priority". Clearly we do not live in a democracy and are governed by liars as council representative Jeremy Edwards was witnessed by 40+ villagers, who weren't at work or otherwise engaged. on the afternoon of Tuesday 5th February on the crossing site lying to Network Rail representatives claiming he had a petition with 1,000 signatures supporting closure of the crossing. If he had actually passed his 11+ exam he would be literate enough to read that the petition he quoted from was in support of improving safety measures OR closure!!!!

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  • modrep  |  January 19 2013, 10:49PM

    The pedestrian crossing is safer than the "alternative" road crossing, which is NOT 200m away, unless you walk down the track! To walk to the other crossing adds 1 km on to a round trip, and involves negotiating traffic from both directions on a narrow road with no pavement, then over the track to a blind turning into a car park. Having used both crossings I have no doubt that the pedestrian crossing, at the heart of Long Rock, is by far the best option.

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  • Brian6666  |  January 17 2013, 6:16PM

    The railway isn't dangerous , the crossing isn't dangerous , its the general public that just cannot read , adhere to pretty basic warning signs, that are the weak link in all of this ! 200m is hardly a distance to be able cross the railway in about the safest manner at rail height you can possibly acheive ! Full barriered , TV and signal controlled level crossing , no brainer really !

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