The chief executive of Network Rail has issued a full and unreserved apology for past failings in managing public safety at level crossings, including the Mexico Inn crossing where a Long Rock woman died.

Mark Carne also said sorry for Network Rail's past behaviour towards bereaved families.

Jeanette Nicholls was struck by a train while using the crossing on 3 October 2011. The Mexico Inn pedestrian level crossing, which is located close to the centre of the village, provides access to the sea front and is a popular route for both local residents and visitors.

Mr Carney said: "I wish to extend a full and unreserved apology on behalf of Network Rail to all those whose lives have been touched by a failing, however large or small, made by this company in managing public safety at level crossings and in failing to deal sensitively with the families affected.

"Nothing we can say or do will lessen the pain felt by the families of those killed or injured at a level crossing. Today Network Rail is a very different company to the one which existed at the time of these tragic accidents.

"As we made clear when we pleaded guilty during the Elsenham court proceedings, it was a watershed in the way we thought about our approach to the risk at level crossings, and how we treat victims and their families.

"As a result of this transformation, level crossings in Great Britain are amongst the safest in Europe, but there is still much that we can, and will, do and the committee’s recommendations will help us in that endeavour

The apology follows the publication of the Transport Select Committee’s report on level crossing safety,

An controversial bid to permanently close the Mexico Inn pedestrian level crossing at Long Rock, near Penzance took a step closer last year.

Members of Cornwall Council’s cabinet have voted to forward the order to the Secretary of State for confirmation.

It is very likely the Secretary of State will hold a public inquiry before the final decision is made.

Cornwall Council received a formal request from Network Rail to permanently close the pedestrian crossing at Long Rock, near Penzance in March 2013.

The application followed concerns over the safety of the crossing raised by the Assistant Deputy Coroner during an inquest into the death of Jeanette Nicholls.