(LONDON) — Locals from the sleepy town of Harlech, Wales, celebrated as they were awarded the rather niche accolade of having the “world’s steepest street” Tuesday, with the honor going to Ffordd Pen Llech road.
The previous record holder was Baldwin Street in Dunedine, New Zealand, but after an extensive campaign by Harlech locals, Guinness World Records officially recognized Ffordd Pen Llech as the world’s steepest street.
An independent surveyor concluded that the street’s gradient was 37.45% on June 6 this year, which beat Baldwin Street’s gradient of just 35%.
In order to qualify for the prestigious record, the street must be a “a public thoroughfare, fully paved and contain buildings running alongside the thoroughfare,” according to Guinness World Records.
Harlech resident Gwyn Headley, who led the campaign for Ffordd Pen Llech to be recognized, said he felt “utter relief” to have finally won out.
“And jubilation!” he added, according to a press release. “Guinness World Records were ultra-specific in the criteria they demanded for Ffordd Pen Llech to qualify as the steepest street in the world, and although we were confident in meeting or exceeding nine of them, I was worried about the 10th. I feel sorry for Baldwin Street and the New Zealanders — but steeper is steeper.”
Another local resident, Sarah Badham, who runs the town’s Facebook page, said she realized Gwyn “was onto something” when he posted in the group suggesting the street may be the world’s steepest.
“[I] decided to get behind him as did the whole community,” she said, according to a Guinness World Records release. “As somebody who was born and raised here, I can’t really say how special it is. It’s amazing.”
And Craig Glenday, the editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records, praised the intrepid spirit of the locals who did not give up on their dream.
“The local community in Harlech has shown sheer will-power in their quest to earn Ffordd Pen Llech the title,” he said when announcing the award, per the records. “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!”
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