A bechtel team bidding for the £500m Supertram scheme in Leeds has dropped out after a dispute over bid costs.
The Leeds Tramlink consortium, which also included, Amey, MTR and Egis Semaly, pulled out last week after failing to get assurances that its bid costs would be reimbursed if it failed to win.

Councillor Mick Lyons, chairman of client Metro, said: “We have been given no option but to drop the Leeds Tramlink consortium due to unrealistic demands being made by the companies backing the bid.”

Supertram project director Mick Martin said the risk of losing bid costs was part of a consortium’s commitment to the scheme.

Tramlink’s exit leaves two bidders for the scheme, which will create a 28 km network. A team led by Mowlem pulled out in May.

Remaining bidders Airelink (Arriva/Siemens) and Momentis (Bouygues/Jarvis/Bombardier/ Firstgroup), are due to submit best and final offers for the project at the end of this year.

The winner will be announced next summer and work is due to start in 2004.