Eurostar is pledging to run services as normal despite strikes being called for this weekend and next.

A spokesman for the company said the strikes on December 18 and 19 and 26 and 27 were announced today by ASLEF, which represents between 35% and 40% of the firm’s drivers, after talks over overseas meal allowances fell through.

However, the cross-Channel train company is confident any disruption will be averted as French and Belgian drivers are called in to cover the shifts.

The spokesman said: “It is very important that we run normal services on these days, we will have no disruptions.”

He added talks are ongoing with the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, which represents around 5% of Eurostar’s train managers, over meal allowances too. He said any strikes called by the union are unlikely to affect services as the train operator again finds cover elsewhere.