Dunedin's claim to being home to the world's steepest street is facing a fresh challenge - this time from the Welsh.

Residents of the small seaside town of Harlech are making a bid for one of their streets to be named the world's steepest.

They believe Ffordd Pen Llech is 1 per cent steeper than Dunedin's Baldwin St and they want Guinness World Records to assess their claim, and knock the current world record holder off its perch.

At its steepest, Baldwin St's world record gradient stands at 36 per cent - but the BBC website reports Harlech residents claim their street has a gradient of 37 per cent.


To be eligible for the steepest-street record Guinness World Records guidelines state the road must be open to both pedestrians and motorised traffic.

Welsh rival: Ffordd Pen Llech street.
Welsh rival: Ffordd Pen Llech street.

A gradient warning sign at the top of the road gives a slope reading of 40 per cent but it is normal practice for United Kingdom highway authorities to round off gradients to avoid confusion.

A sign also warns the road is unsuitable for motorists and its steepest part only allows traffic to go up. Speaking to the BBC, Harlech resident Sarah Badhan said she hoped Guinness World Records officials would rule in favour of the road, which is already recognised as the steepest sealed road in the United Kingdom."I would hope that they [Guinness World Records] would come and at least assess it.

"It would be nice if they'd come and check it out," she said.

Two backpackers, Sabrina Zanin, of Italy, and Malte Sturmann, of Germany, resting at the top of Baldwin St yesterday, were confident it would keep its world's steepest title.

"I think people should keep coming. It's a pretty impressive street," Sturmann said.

It is not the first time the street has had to fend off challengers.

As recently as 2017, freelance data analyst John Murray claimed St Mary's Hill in Chester, England had a gradient of just over 37 per cent, but his claim failed because the hill is inaccessible to vehicles.


Other claims have also been made but so far none has been recognised by Guinness World Records.