Safety row after man smashes face in Chesterfield station fall

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A man who was left “pouring with blood” after tripping on tactile paving is calling for a safety review, a year after the accident.

Phil Thomas, 65, has suffered with post-traumatic stress since he fell and smashed his face at Chesterfield train station last December 23.

“I have only just been able to talk about it” said the former Worksop College teacher, who was picking up tickets to visit his daughter in London when he fell.

“I tripped over the corduroy paving that runs through the station. My head hit a steel bench and I burst an artery, so when I stood up there was blood spurting about eight feet away.”

He suffered a broken nose and a severed orbital nerve and needed 14 stitches.

“It has decimated my life” he added. “I am in constant pain. If I don’t take six tablets it feels like I have an axe in my head.”

He is now calling for cordoroy paving – used to help visually impaired people – to be reviewed, branding it unsafe.

He said: “Older people do not lift their feet high enough. It hasn’t been safety tested to take that into account.”

A spokesperson for East Midlands Trains – who run the station – said: “We were very sorry to hear about the incident. As soon as Mr Thomas made us aware, we arranged to meet with him to understand the background to what had happened. Following this, we carried out a full investigation which determined that the tactile paths at the station are fully fit for purpose.

“Tactile paving surfaces are successfully used in many environments in daily life - such as on footpaths, stairs, pavements and pedestrian crossings - improving accessibility and benefitting millions of people every year.

“The tactile guiding path at Chesterfield has been in place for over ten years, and fully meets Government standards and the most up to date safety standards. The colour contrasted design of the tactile path is designed to be clearly visible for all station users. Over one million passengers use Chesterfield station each year and this is the first such accident that we are aware of involving the path.

“Safety is our top priority and we continue to invest hundreds of thousands of pounds every year to improve the accessibility of our stations.”

Phil has set up a website,, to encourage others to share their experiences.