A VITAL upgrade of London's Docklands Light Railway has suffered a further blow after a second bidder dropped out of the running.
Balfour Beatty and Amec had teamed up to bid for the £180 million three-car upgrade of the DLR but the joint venture has now pulled out.
Sources close to the project said that bidders have to carry out too much of the design work up-front without being compensated if their bids are rejected.
Last month Nuttall also pulled out of the race, leaving a two-way fight for the deal between Costain and a Carillion/Taylor Woodrow JV.
The contract, known as work packages 1-5 and 7, covers the busiest section of track between Bank and Lewisham and is seen as a key part of transport plans for the 2012 London Olympics.
The project involves building a South Quay station, a flyunder at West India Quay station, and a flyover at Canning Town Junction, as well as strengthening bridges and viaducts and extending platforms.
The aim is to boost passenger capacity by 50 per cent to cope with the flood of visitors for the Olympics.
Tenders will be returned on December 11, with a winning contractor appointed next spring.