Street in North Wales declared steepest in the world

The gradient tops out at 37.45 per cent at its steepest

A street in North Wales has been declared the steepest in the world by Guinness World Records, after verifying it had a gradient of 37.45 per cent.

The street is called Ffordd Pen Llech in Harlech, Gwynedd and takes the title off Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand, which has a gradient of 35 per cent. at its steepest point.

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Gwyn Headley, who campaigned for the record, described her emotions after the Welsh street was awarded the title, saying: “I feel utter relief – and jubilation. I feel sorry for the New Zealanders – but steeper is steeper.”

Although many people live at the bottom of Ffordd Pen Llech, the chemist and the post office are situated at the top.

Fford Pen Llech (Google Maps)

There are ten criteria a street must meet to be in contention with being named the steepest, including having to be a public thoroughfare, being fully surfaced, as well having buildings alongside the road.

The Guinness measurement is based on the maximum gradient over a 10 metre span, comparing the altitude rise to the distance.

Cars are warned not to use Ffordd Pen Lech, which is the steepest street in Britain and the current KoM holder is double national hill-climb champion Dan Evans, who reached the top in just 56 seconds, averaging 15.3km/h up the 200m climb.

Residents now hope the street, which is thought to have existed for more than 1,000 years, will become a tourist attraction, bringing money to the area.

However, when there are winners there must also be losers, and New Zealanders are not exactly ecstatic about a new street rising to the top and claiming their crown.

“I’m still angry, I’m angry over lots of things in the world this week but this has really just ruined my week – thank you,” New Zealand writer Hamish McNeilly said. “I’m not going to get over this, this follows the cricket for me so we’re still very angry. It’s a bad week, it really is.”

Whilst a celebration is planned in Harlech this weekend to herald their record, they might not hold it for long as apparently a street in San Francisco is looking into taking the title away from Wales.

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