Wales takes world’s steepest street title from New Zealand | UK News

Wales takes world’s steepest street title from New Zealand | UK News

Just days after they lost the Cricket World Cup, New Zealand has suffered a second major blow – this time at the hands of Wales.

Baldwin Street in the South Island city of Dunedin had for years been known as the world’s steepest street.

It has been used as the venue for a number of extreme races for runners and cyclists and tourists from around the world came to see the 350m street’s gradient of 35% shooting it to social media fame.

But the Welsh seaside town of Harlech has come forward to take the crown, with its street – Ffordd Pen Llech – officially being recorded as having a gradient of 37%.

Competitors take part in a race up one of the world's steepest street in Dunedin, New Zealand on September 18, 2011
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Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand, previously held the title

The result comes after a campaign by residents led by entrepreneur and architectural historian Gwyn Headley.

He had first wondered about whether the street might be steep enough for the world record after his car slid down it, despite the handbrake being fully locked.

He said he felt “utter relief” and “jubilation” after the announcement, despite some sympathy for New Zealand at such as tragic time.

“I feel sorry for Baldwin Street and the New Zealanders, but steeper is steeper,” he said.

“At least they have the Rugby World Cup … for the moment …”







January: Locals campaign for recognition of a Welsh street as the world’s steepest

To qualify for the record, a street has to be a fully-paved public thoroughfare with buildings along it. The measurement is based on the highest gradient over a section of 10m.

Ffordd Pen Llech runs past Harlech Castle, which is a Unesco World Heritage site. It is lined with houses, a shop, a caravan park, a laundry service, and a restaurant.

Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records editor in chief said: “The local community in Harlech has shown sheer willpower in their quest to earn Ffordd Pen Llech the title.

“We know the anticipation has been building for quite some time now and I’m pleased to see the outcome has brought such joy to the residents.

“I hope Harlech enjoys the celebrations and that the new title brings lots of people to the beautiful town, to experience the world’s steepest street for themselves.”

The proud residents of Harlech will have to watch out though: some say Vale Street in Bristol could also have a claim to the title.

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