However, I've had two very near misses recently and I have to say its not really the fault of the motorists involved; even though its always tempting to blame them for being useless.
Basically, its all too easy to get squashed or nudged if you go through the refuge gap at the same time as a vehicle.
The first incident I had was with a delivery van and yes, it was white. I heard it coming up behind, slow down, speed up and then accelerate to get through the gap between the reservation and the pavement. Meanwhile, I responded to the van when it slowed down behind me, by speeding up - which I was doing naturally anyway as the road had just started downhill.
End result: the van and I arrived at the gap at the same time, resulting in me slowly falling towards the pavement and the van almost taking out the refuge.
Nobody's fault really, except that the refuges vary in width as well as you can see below:
These refuges force both cyclists and motorists to anticipate speeds in each other and its not an easy skill. So what's the solution ?
One of the problems is that there's no escape for the cyclist, just a nice high kerb to send you crashing onto the pavement, or veering into traffic coming up behind. True there is a drop kerb for the pushchairs, but its only a metre wide or so.
So couldn't the design be changed a little to extend the drop kerb a few metres back as well. That way, at least if you are about to get squashed, you can nip up onto the pavement and hopefully avoid having a nasty crash or worse ?
Is that going to add a huge cost ?