London commuter train
Robinson fell under a moving train (file photo) Getty


  • IT worker fell through "excessive" gap getting off train.
  • Matthew Robinson was looking for a ticket he had left on the train.
  • Injuries under Abellio train led to double amputation.

A commuter who lost both legs after he fell into the gap between a train and the platform is suing the train operator for almost £2m ($2.8m) in damages.

Matthew Robinson, 34, fell through a "significant" gap at Bishop's Stortford station in Hertfordshire on his way home in January 2013.

The IT worker was on the platform when he realised that he had left his £3,000 season ticket on the Stansted Express train heading out of London, the Evening Standard reports.

He walked along the platform to look for the ticket through the moving train's windows but suddenly fell into the platform gap. The injuries to his legs were so bad that they had to be amputated.

"I knew there was a gap but I wasn't aware at the time how significant it was," Robinson told the High Court today (8 February) as the hearing began.

He is claiming £1.9m in damages from the train operator Abellio Greater Anglia.

Robinson told the court that he had heard the "mind the gap" warnings only rarely at Bishop Stortford station during the nine years he had commuted to and from London.

His barrister, Brian Cummins, said the platform is long and curved, resulting in an "excessive" gap in some places. He said Robinson was "unaware it was as large as this".

Abellio is fighting Robinson's claim on the grounds that adequate safety measures were in place including announcements at the station and on-board warnings.

Former area customer service manager Kevin Walton told the court that the platform had been given a two-out-of-five score for the likelihood of an accident.

Walton said: "When you are doing those risk assessments, you don't envisage people interfering with trains.

"In my experience, prior to Mr Robinson's unfortunate accident, I wasn't aware of anything that led to serious injury. I had been based around Bishop's Stortford for a lot of years."

Abellio's barrister, Derek O'Sullivan QC, suggested that the plaintiff was "completely distracted" when he suffered the accident because he was concerned about his misplaced ticket.

"The fact remains that you went and walked up to a moving train and stood on the platform edge as it was moving," he said.

The hearing continues.