A joint scheme of around £811k aimed at improving the access to Hayle station has been unveiled by Network Rail, First Great Western, Cornwall Council and Sustrans.

It aims to provide of a safer alternative north-south link for both passengers and the public travelling through Hayle station via the existing underpass and footbridge.

The new link will also replace an existing footpath crossing – Hayle level crossing - which will eventually be closed when the new scheme completes.

As part of the improvement, the disused Harbour Branch railway line will be turned into a footpath and cycleway, new access to the south west of the station car park will be created.

New access with a ramp to the rear of platform 2 to link the underpass to platform will also be built, with plans to provide bike hoops to the rear of platform two, resurface the footbridge to the north east of the station and improve the lighting.

Councillor Bert Biscoe, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for transport and waste, said: “It is good to yet again see the partnership between Cornwall Council and Network Rail in action. Let us hope that this small step for safety will lead to a giant leap in usage of the railway station and will improve connectivity within Hayle for its residents and visitors.”

Councillor John Pollard, Cornwall Council leader and local member for Hayle North, said: “This is an excellent scheme creating a safer and much needed access to the station from the North. The additional works to the old railway cutting will also enhance the area and establish a pedestrian route to Platform 2. I would like to thank Network Rail and particularly Philip Boorman of Cornwall Council who has negotiated, developed and championed this scheme and brought it to fruition.”

Network Rail says that over the past four years, there have been five near-misses reported at Hayle level crossing with one fatality in 2009.

Adding that the replacement of the crossing with the new access will "significantly help improve the safety in the area, protecting the lives of passengers and the community".

Work is set to start this month and is projected to complete by May 2014