Welsh street has lost its title as steepest in the world

The town of Harlech had claimed the title last summer, but it has since been taken away

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Welsh street crowned steepest in the world has now lost its title after an appeal.

Ffordd Pen Llech in the town of Harlech, North Wales was handed the title in the summer of 2019 after Guinness World Record officials measured the maximum gradient at 37.45 per cent.

But after an appeal by residents of Dunedin, New Zealand, the record has now been handed back to former holder Baldwin Street as Guinness has now changed the rules for the title.

Editor-in-chief at Guinness World Records, Craig Glenday, said: “We’re very grateful to the Baldwin Street appeals team, led by surveyor Toby Stoff, for making us aware of a rare gap in our stipulations and we’re pleased to see the title return to New Zealand. We’re also very grateful to the Ffordd Pen Llech team for their application and good humour throughout this process.”

Residents of Harlech, in the country of Gwynedd, led by Gwyn Headley, applied to Guinness in January 2019 to have their street measured as a potential contender for the record.

After official measurements were taken and sent to Guinness, Fford Pen Llech was officially handed the title in July, after Baldwin Street had held the record for a decade, but that prompted an appeal from residents of Dunedin

British Cycling then organised a hill climb event on the Welsh street. 

The appeal, led by Toby Stoff, featured a survey of the three-dimensional shapes of both Baldwin and Ffordd Pen Llech, which revealed that to fairly assess the different shape, the steepness must be measured from the centre line of the road.

Following the thorough review and after consulting with industry specialists, Guinness found that from the centre point of the road, Baldwin Street is steeper, with a gradient of 34.8 per cent compared to FFord Pen Llech’s 28.6 per cent.

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Toby Stoff, representative for the New Zealand street, said: “Sincere thanks to Guinness World Records for considering our findings. It is important to know that Guinness World Records treats matters like this in a robust and professional manner.

“The issue of gradient was technical in nature only. There was no bad feeling toward the people of Harlech. I had the great joy of visiting last November. It is a wonderful heritage town full of friendly people.”

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