Re: Can they do something more useful instead?
I noticed a big difference over the past few weeks with my newish set of cross climates.
Ditto. A joy to bimble past twats in German cars helplessly spinning their "high performance" tyres on the tiniest of slopes. Shouting "Vorsprung Durch Tecnic!" at one as I trundled past may not have been big or clever, but I derived some simple pleasure from it. I think there's a video freely availalbe of an Autocar test showing normal tyres versus cross climates versus full winter at the Tamworth snowdome - worth a gander.
Having said that, you can still spin Cross Climates (and indeed full winter tyres) and get stuck, and to give their best most drivers still need good traction control. So mandating their fitting wouldn't change much unless the population HAVE to cope with regular snow, and then DO adapt their driving style, AND realise that even then, they aren't infallible. So all in all, we should accept that snow=chaos in lowland Britain.