Welsh town challenges New Zealand for the title of ‘world’s steepest road’

Remigio Civitarese
Gennaio 12, 2019

Residents in the town of Harlech, in Gwynedd, believe the street called Ffordd Pen Llech stands on a gradient of 36 per cent.

Later this month, officials will confirm if the road has a gradient of 36% mor more.This would be steeper than Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand, which has a gradient of 35% at its steepest.

It looks pretty steep but is Ffordd Pen Llech the steepest in the world?

The street is one-way and only allows traffic to descend the hill, a restriction that is thought to thwart cyclists from attempting the gradient.

Guinness World Records defines the record for steepest street based on the maximum gradient over a ten metre span, taking into account the vertical rise to the horizontal distance.

Located on Hawaii's Big Island, Waipio Road is another contender for the title of the world's steepest street and is only open to four wheel drive vehicles. "We would have to change signage around the street and reprint a lot of brochures around town", wrote Joseph on Facebook.

'We rely a lot on tourism so having the title would be fantastic'.

But the city's mayor, Dave Cull, has come out fighting.

We feel exhausted just thinking about walking up it.

The people of Dunedin feel a little threatened by Harlech's challenge. Most of its residents live at the bottom, with shops and other amenities at the top.

The road has become a hit with Instagrammers as when photos of houses on the street are taken on an angle, it creates the illusion that they are sinking into the ground.

Baldwin Street in New Zealand draws in thousands of tourists each year. Local businesses have been trading on the title for the past two years since gaining the record, and the 350-metre-long street has found fame on social media.

The trend has significantly increased visitor numbers - especially during the winter season when tourists usually avoided the area because of frost, ice and occasional snow.

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