please empty your brain below

Fascinating stuff. Those London commuter fares are subject to regulation so can only increase by a prescribed amount laid down by the Government in the franchise agreement.

It’s a good thing that fares regulation exists - imagine what the fares would be if the rail companies could charge what they wanted! No wonder the rail companies want it abolished.
Calais is £44 day return if you use the Southeastern "day tripper" ticket. Not quick, as you use the ferry, but a lot cheaper than the Eurostar fare.
The "man at seat 61" has all the details.
What you’re missing is the amount by which prices in general have increased over the ten year period. It’s 32% (change in RPI from 2007 to 2017 — can’t do 2008 to 2018, because 2018 hasn’t finished yet). So train fares are on average falling very slightly in real terms.
I'd draw the opposite conclusion to Hadders - given how cheap the advance tickets are, I think fare regulation could safely be abolished for longer distance journeys. Commuter fares clearly need to be regulated as many commuters have no alternative to taking the train.
The ticket origami option of splitting the journey is probably available - I believe that they have changed the rules in that the train no longer needs to call at the station where the ticket was split, or buying a ticket to somewhere you have no intention of going and breaking your journey, plus the faffing around with discounts using a Gold Card.

dg writes: No. the train still needs to call at the station where the ticket was split (NR Terms and Conditions 14.1)
Fascinating data, for which many thanks. However there may be the odd error: for example the quoted fares for London-Norwich show an increase of 34% not 55%.

dg writes: Updated, thanks.
On longer distance flows the Off Peak or Super Off Peak Return Fares are generally regulated.

Advance fares are good but to abolish regulation would be a bad thing. At least regulation effectively provides a cap on fares. A here today gone tomorrow train operating company can charge what they like for Advance tickets and restrict how many they sell at each price tier. Can you imagine what a cash strapped operator might try to do, especially on a route with little or no competition.
And obviously on top of this you can get a third-off with a railcard. You can do the London to Norwich trip for just £9 if you buy an advance with a railcard discount, which is a bonkersly cheap price, and i love it.
Is there any discernable reason for the outliers? Why is Thameslink cheaper, or Bournemouth or Worcester? Why has Arundel shot up?
Another way to get cheap fares is to register with TOCs for special offers. For example, I've booked a February day trip Peterborough-Leeds in the LNER Winter Seat Sale for £10 (other stations are available), and I believe GWR may offer something similar.

Also, Still Anon's split ticketing is always worth investigating. For example the City Metric website shows day return London-Peterborough as £19.50 and London-Spalding as £44.50, yet an anytime day return Peterborough-Spalding is £9.90 so a saving of £15.10 is readily available.
I can't believe I just missed the LNER Winter Seat Sale. Expect fewer blogposts from Yorkshire next year :(
I'm always surprised at the expense of an Oxford ticket. The train service is slow and indirect and has fierce competition from the coach services. Off-peak, there's little reason to choose the train, especially when the coach will drop you off at various points in town and Oxford's rail station is a bit out of the way. I'll admit the peak time coaches get pretty bogged down in traffic though.
Birmingham seems to have benefited most from price competition. Indeed I suspect that Chiltern uses high fares from towns much nearer London to cross subsidise its London to Birmingham mainline services with cheap advance tickets.

Picking a random day, the 19th December, there are plenty of £5.50 advance tickets (London to Moor St and back) if you fancy a day in Brum for £11, whereas if you want to go to High Wycombe, you have to buy a standard £20.50 off peak return
I had some sympathy for the John Major privatisation plan (essentially taking the situation back to the 1923 arrangements). But doing that would have limited the number of stations with competing services below what it is now, so possibly not good news for fares.
With all the price gouging, confusion marketing, crazy Ts & Cs and the risk of a penalty or prosecution if you make an innocent mistake, it's hardly surprising that most people have decided to abandon the trains' painted concrete seats and go by car whenever they can.

Few people realise that the change from NCoC to NCoT (see 14.2) means that the use of split season tickets is allowed even where trains don't stop at the intermediate station(s); long-suffering Kent commuters can now save a fortune !
14.4 is presumably the catch-all condition which justifies fining passengers who unwittingly fall foul of a (deliberately?)confusing fares structure.
@ Gerry. 14.2 is a special exception which only applies if one or both tickets is a season or rover ticket.
For Loughborough, you can buy an advance train ticket from the MegaBus site for £19, quite a bit cheaper than your £73.
A train trip from Hong Kong to Canton (Guangzhou) is approximately 100 to 125 miles, and has choice between sub-high-speed (90 mph) and high speed (125 ~ 180 mph) rail. But even the most extortionate First-class HSR costs just *exactly* £30. Seems only London-Birmingham Standard Class can achieve this price.

£100 can get me to Beijing on Standard-class HSR, a distance of some 1500 miles.
Inflation from October 2008 to October 2018 was 30.7%. Which means except for cost of anytime returns to London the average increase for the other fare types you looked at have broadly increased in line with inflation. The constant rhetoric about high rail fares are, are often far removed from reality. That's not to say on certain routes fare have increased significantly.
I have always found UK rail fares expensive and very complicated to understand, since the early 1990's.

To day I don't bother I just hire a car for long distance travel outside London.
The growth in passenger journeys suggests that isn't the case

975m in 2002/03
1,708m in 2017/18

@Mikey C
Rail travel in Great Britain accounts for only 2% of trips. Whether measuring trips, distance or time, car and van travel accounts for more travel than all other modes of travel combined.

@Tedious Rail Commenter 2
Aha! But you are wrong, because I have facts which prove my interpretation of what you said is incorrect, and therefore I am right, even if that's not quite what you said.

That's only in England, not the whole of Great Britain..

Gerry. Of course. You can’t use a train for the vast majority of trips such as taking the kids to school, nipping out for milk, doing a very big shop, or a courier doing local multi drop deliveries. So it’s not a meaningful figure in that context.
Your first table draws attention to the madness of ticket pricing. Euston to Milton Keynes is £15.00 (off-peak day return) using London Northwestern Railway. Use the same train and ticket type but for three stops earlier (Cheddington) and it costs £17.00.

So it costs more to travel a shorter distance. How does that work? Can only assume that LNWR are competing with Virgin for MK travellers.
Wonder how this compares to the cost of driving between these destinations?

Always seems that the government are happy to let rail ticket prices increase above inflation but don't want the same to apply to fuel. Fuel duty hasn't changed since 1st September 2012.
London to Cambridge can be had for £13 on the slowest TOC (weekend super off-peak day return route Greater Anglia Only).

dg writes: Updated, thanks.

Your Basingstoke fare is not valid from London Terminals until 11:00.

dg writes: Updated, thanks.

A "Hull Trains Only" return to Grantham can be had for £43 (but I doubt the significantly reduced flexibility will be worth the quid!)

You can get a super off-peak return London Euston to Lichfield Trent Valley for a mere £28 (super off-peak return route WMR & LNR Only). It has peak restrictions which apply on a Saturday.

Similarly you can get to Birmingham for £24.

Worcester you can get a "Via High Wycombe and Birmingham" fare for £35.50 (no weekend peak restrictions).

Bath Spa you can buy a Warminster-Salisbury fare for £37.30.
(I imagine a lot of the problems stem from the fact that recently fares have been more inclined to be issued from one London Terminal if they're only effectively valid from one. This has the irritating side-effect of meaning they don't always show up in journey planners/etc. if you select "London Stations".)

dg writes: (A London Liverpool Street to Cambridge super off-peak return for £13 plainly exists on the Greater Anglia website, but doesn't show up on the National Rail website whatever you select.)
@Rob: This is very easy to explain. Even if public transport is well used, chances are that many still need to drive to a Parkway station or Park-and-Ride point. Increasing fuel duty is an enormous case of political suicide.
Interesting stuff DG. In cases where the commute has not increased significantly - MK to Euston the rail franchises have compensated by increasing the car park charges. MK now costs £11 a day to park, getting on for a 300% increase over only about five years back.
Any danger you can do the same comparison for journey times?

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