Having to travel in and out of Coventry quite frequently has given me a varied experience of the new 'shared space' in the city centre. Even after having lots of practice I still feel like I'm taking my life in my hands each time I venture across...I think its knowing that i'm relying on the goodwill and awareness of others in order to make it to the other side safely.
The new junctions seem to work best if you are either a bus or you are travelling straight on, on several occasions recently I've had to get off the bike and move to the path in order to avoid a steady flow of buses coming up the hill from Gosford St who haven't yet heard about sharing the space.
Shared spaces aren't a new idea and are most associated with the dutch who seem to have successfully developed the idea over many years, but so far the way in which the concept has been implimented in Coventry has caused problems for many of those who had hoped to benefit from a new approach to road usage, particularly cyclists and pedestrians. Its early days yet though, lets hope with time and a bit of tweaking it all works out!