Wales claims title of steepest street in the world from New Zealand
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A seaside town in Wales boasts panoramic views of the ocean, a 13th-century castle, and now the steepest street in the world.
After a successful campaign by residents, Guinness World Records said Tuesday that the street of Ffordd Pen Llech in the seafront town of Harlech in North Wales, located 245 miles northwest of London, has a gradient of 37.45 percent.
That is two percentage points steeper than Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand, which held the record for more than a decade.
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In this undated handout photo provided by Guinness World Records on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, Gwyn Headley and Sarah Badhan, stand on Ffordd Pen Llech with a certificate from Guinness World Records, confirming that the road is the steepest street in the world, in the seaside town of Harlech, North Wales.
(Andrew Davies/Guinness World Records via AP)
"The record is measured based on the steepest (highest gradient) section over a 10 m distance. If the average steepness is taken, you could have a road where one section is extremely steep and the rest is flat, which is not a fair assessment," according to Guinness World Records. "The gradient is measured by taking the 10 m stretch road and dividing it by how much it rises/falls over the 10 m distance."
The Welsh campaign was led by businessman and architectural historian Gwyn Headley, who said he feels "jubilation" now that the street has been recognized.
Ffordd Pen Llech in the seafront town of Harlech in North Wales is now the world’s steepest street.
(Google Street View)
"I feel sorry for the New Zealanders, but steeper is steeper," he said Tuesday.
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In New Zealand, locals on the now-second steepest street expressed dismay over losing the title.
"What a bloody surprise that is," Dave Kernahan told the New Zealand news website Stuff.
Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand is no longer the world’s steepest street.
(Google Street View)
Sharon Hyndman told the website it was "sad for Dunedin."
"But I'm sure people will still come," she added. "It will be interesting to see what will happen."
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The Dunedin town council is now considering how to handle the change. Dunedin mayor Dave Cull told Stuff that officials may refer to the street as "the southern hemisphere's steepest street."
"The street certainly hasn't got any less steep as a result of the decision," Cull said Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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