Baldwin Street in New Zealand has rightfully reclaimed the title of being the World’s Steepest Street. It has also reclaimed the title in the Guinness World Record for being the World’s Steepest Street.
This, however, does not mean that the street has suddenly got steeper; in fact, it managed to win back the record after the locals intervened.
Baldwin Street, in New Zealand, held the title for over a decade until June 2019, after which Ffordd Pen Llech in the medieval castle town of Harlech in Gwynedd snatched the title. This led the locals of Baldwin to intervene and appeal against the decision, stating that the street was measured inaccurately.
The Guinness World Records, after reviewing the appeal, agreed to it and said that in order to fairly assess the different shapes of the streets, whether they are straight or curved, steepness needs to be ascertained by the central axis.
Thereafter, following the changed way of measuring things as directed by the Guinness World Records, the Harlech street has been downgraded to just 28.6 per cent gradient, and Baldwin Street, with a gradient of 34.8 per cent, managed to snatch back the title.
Further, referring to this, the records body emphasised that it had formally changed its criteria for any future challenges for the title.
Also, Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday stated that they are very grateful to the Baldwin Street appeals team, which was led by surveyor Toby Stoff, for bringing this discrepancy to their notice and making them aware of a rare gap in their stipulations, and that they were pleased to return the title to New Zealand.
The Editor-in-Chief also added that they are very grateful to the Ffordd Pen Llech team for their application and humour during the entire process.