Updated: Changes to car parking at The National Archives’ site in Kew

Due to continuing operational issues, charges in the visitor car park have been further delayed. We apologise for any inconvenience and will provide an update, in due course, regarding the new date for the introduction of these charges. This news story has been amended to reflect this change.

The National Archives will be implementing new charges in our visitor car park.

The new controlled car parking will be administered through an ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) system, with visitors paying before departure at a pay point located inside The National Archives building. Charges will apply to all visitor parking. ‘Blue Badge’ holders will continue to be able to park without charge, in designated parking bays. (The ‘Blue Badge’ scheme helps you park closer to your destination if you’re disabled: find out more.)

We have proposed new car park charges for two key reasons. Firstly, we want to ensure that the option to park on site continues to be available for as many of our visitors as possible. By introducing charges we hope to be able to deter parking unconnected with our organisation and to accommodate more of our own visitors.  We have benchmarked our new car park charges with those of comparable heritage and cultural destinations in the local area.

Secondly, we find it difficult to justify offering a free car park in a location where parking is generally offered on a charged-for basis. We have maintained a free car park over many years and through this time, we have been one of few national, cultural organisations to offer this facility without charge. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost to us and we have now reached a point where we need to balance the needs of a minority of visitors who arrive by car against our need to invest in services for the majority who arrive by public transport or use our services online. We will review the impact of the new scheme during its initial period to ensure it meets its objectives and to assess the impact on visitors.

The new parking costs

Up to two hours £2.50
Up to four hours £4.50
Over four hours £7.00

Under this scheme, ‘Blue Badge’ holders will continue to be able to park without charge, in designated parking bays.

How to use our new parking system

  • Enter the car park by approaching the barrier, which will open automatically. Make a note of your registration plate number before leaving your vehicle.
  • After enjoying your visit to The National Archives, go to one of our two pay point machines (located in The National Archives’ foyer), and enter your vehicle registration.
  • The pay machine will calculate your car parking charge based on registration recognition. Payments can be made by either cash or chip and pin/contactless payment (with a credit or debit card).
  • Return to your vehicle and leave the car park via the exit barrier within 20 minutes of payment.

Visitors must pay for parking before leaving the premises and will not be able to exit the car park if they have not done so.

For more information, read our frequently asked questions.

If you have any further questions or feedback about the changes to visitor car parking, please get in touch: nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact-us/your-views

Tags: car parking, car parking for disabled users

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