I’m sure newbie is right about the reason, particularly for Oxford St, but radii8 has a good point. Stations and tourist hotspots need bikes where they can be seen. If you popped out from, let’s say, Victoria station, or from a look round Westminster Abbey, it’s not at all obvious where the bikes are, and TfL have I think ruled out erecting signs saying ‘docking station this way’. Considering the furore over Blackfriars you’d have thought a dock might have been a good concession to cyclists – instead I have to walk all the way to Godliman Street.
There are some good examples which could serve as models for the future. St Saviour’s church Pimlico, the Science Museum, and Westminster Cathedral have bikes visible from the main door, Waterloo station has the best dock of all, and the new dock in Abingdon Gardens is visible and central in a well-trodden area. Strand does actually have a quite nice dock close to St Clement Danes church.
To add to the list is surely The Mall – the area of St James Park is the poorest served of all for Boris bikes. It’s worth keeping up the pressure on TfL by writing to them – we are the people who use the bikes after all.